Garth Brooks has explained why he won't be banning Bud Light from his new bar, as the beleaguered beer brand faces continued backlash and boycott calls.

In recent months, the number of large U.S. brands being targeted with boycott calls has grown dramatically, as a host of different companies unveil products supporting Pride Month, which takes place every June. Companies supporting the LGBTQ+ community outside of Pride Month have also faced backlash from conservatives.

Bud Light was initially targeted in April for a small branded partnership it had with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney. In a video posted to Instagram on April 1, Mulvaney said that the beer brand had sent her a can with her face on it to commemorate 365 days of her living as a woman.

Mulvaney's partnership with Bud Light drew condemnation from several conservative figures, including Texas Rep. Dan Crenshaw. Many issued calls for a boycott of the beer brand and there has been overt scrutiny of an increasing number of companies over their pro-LGBTQ+ marketing initiatives.

However, while his fellow country stars Travis Tritt and John Rich are among those who have publicly declared their aversion to Bud Light following its collaboration with Mulvaney, Brooks has stated that he does not plan to discriminate.

Speaking with Billboard executive editor Melinda Newman at Billboard Country Live in Nashville on Wednesday, Brooks touched upon his Friends In Low Places Bar & Honky Tonk, which will open imminently in the city's popular South Broadway District.

"I know this sounds corny, I want it to be the Chick-fil-A of honky-tonks," he told Newman. "I want it to be a place you feel safe in, I want it to be a place where you feel like there are manners and people like one another."

Alluding to the Bud Light backlash, the musician added: "And yes, we're going to serve every brand of beer. We just are. It's not our decision to make. Our thing is this, if you [are let] into this house, love one another. If you're an a**hole, there are plenty of other places on lower Broadway."

It was announced last year that Brooks planned to open the entertainment space, which will be housed within a three-story, more than 40,000 square foot property, that the star purchased in December 2021.

"We feel very lucky to have the chance to be part of Lower Broad, which is arguably THE hottest spot in the country," Brooks said in a statement at the time. "The goal is a classic honky-tonk that welcomes all and encourages love and kindness while playing the greatest music in the world in the home of country music!"

Amid the fallout and reports of plummeting sales, some Bud Light executives took a leave of absence, including marketing head Alissa Heinerscheid and Daniel Blake, who oversees marketing for Anheuser-Busch's mainstream brands.

The furor over Bud Light's association with Mulvaney reflects anti-transgender sentiment that has been growing in the U.S., with bills targeting the rights of transgender people having been embraced by Republican governors and statehouses across the country.

In recent weeks, a number of social media users have also shared photos and videos of unsold Bud Light on store shelves and at venues, in a bid to illustrate the purported success of their boycott of the beer brand.

Brooks went against the grain in January 2021, when he performed at the inauguration of President Joe Biden—a move that angered a number of country music fans.

"The message they're pushing is unity, and that's right down my alley, man," Brooks said at the time. "If we're gonna get anywhere, we're gonna get there together."

Brooks also teased in the leadup that he would likely be "the only Republican at the ceremony."

Throughout his career, Brooks has performed for every U.S. president since Jimmy Carter, with the exceptions of Ronald Reagan and Donald Trump. He was invited to sing at Trump's inauguration in 2016, but declined because of scheduling conflicts.

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2023-06-09T14:17:09Z dg43tfdfdgfd