The whiskey giant Jack Daniels now faces calls for boycotts over a 2021 ad campaign that featured drag queens from Ru Paul’s Drag Race.
The “small town, big pride” campaign enlisted drag queens from the TV show to “produce a series of videos called Drag Queen Summer Glamp, which was released during pride month,” according to Newsweek.
The episodes and other promotional material have been available on the company’s website, which says: ‘Jack Fire and Pride go together like cinnamon and whiskey.’
Despite the campaign being publicized for 22 months, Jack Daniel’s support for the LGBTQ+ community is receiving fresh scrutiny now transgender rights and liberties are a key issue of contention in the culture wars.
A spokesperson for Jack Daniel’s told Newsweek that the distillery makes products “with everyone in mind, including the LGBTQ+ community. As a longtime champion of the LGBTQ+ community, Jack Daniel’s celebrates individuality and living life boldly on your own terms.”
The commercial featured several drag queens competing in challenges near the Jack Daniel’s distillery in Lynchburg, Tennessee. The company called it “a bold new experience—for both the queens and their hosts” at the time.
Trinity the Tuck, one of the drag queens featured, said at the time that the whiskey giant “gets drag culture—which is all about celebrating individuality and inviting others to accept you as you are.”
Drag queen Manila Luzon also said, “This is how Pride should be celebrated: with friends—new and old—in a place you would never expect.”
Lauren Richmond, former brand manager for Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Fire, also called it “unexpected partnership” at the time that “reaffirms our commitment to the LGBTQ+ community.”
Backlash and calls for boycotts erupted online after the nearly two-year-old ad campaign resurfaced.
“Jack Daniel’s Whiskey canceled my endorsement deal because I said I opposed sandblasting the word Confederate off a Vanderbilt University building. But they paid these clowns,” lamented Clay Travis.
“Jack Daniel’s GOES WOKE! The famed whiskey brand is the latest company to push Trans Ideology and Drag Culture to its customer base,” tweeted Oil London
Jack Daniel’s Whiskey canceled my endorsement deal because I said I opposed sandblasting the word Confederate off a Vanderbilt University building. But they paid these clowns. pic.twitter.com/5EAqwwioyP
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) April 6, 2023
Jack Daniel’s GOES WOKE!
— Oli London (@OliLondonTV) April 6, 2023
Who told Jack Daniel’s it would be a good idea to use a transgender to promote their whiskey?
They can say goodbye to a good chunk of their clientele.
I will never drink Jack Daniel’s again. pic.twitter.com/Ig8mXvlfwW
— Proud Elephant 🇺🇸 (@ProudElephantUS) April 6, 2023
Et tu, Jack Daniel’s? pic.twitter.com/xjjbLkB0iM
— End Wokeness (@EndWokeness) April 5, 2023
— Travis Tritt (@Travistritt) April 6, 2023
Jack Daniel’s has become Jane Daniel’s as they team up with Anheuser-Busch is promoting degeneracy.
Maybe try a bottle of George Dickel next time you’re looking for Tennessee whiskey. pic.twitter.com/6pF3pxnHyy
— Stew Peters (@realstewpeters) April 6, 2023
First Bud Light, now Jack Daniel's?!
Please check on your redneck, hompphobe friends.
Actually, don't. Let them yell into the void like the softass crybabies that they are.
— Ryan McKinnell (@RyanMcKinnell) April 6, 2023