"The perfect beer for removing 'no' from your vocabulary for the night #UpForWhatever" That's the tagline printed on a Bud Light bottle and photographed by a sharp-eyed Reddit user late last night. Since then it's ignited a flurry of criticism on social media, where people are saying that a slogan like that promotes rape culture.
— chiller (@chiller) April 28, 2015
Elected officials are starting to pile on the criticism too. Congresswoman Nita Lowey from New York:
— Nita Lowey (@NitaLowey) April 28, 2015
The "removing 'no' from your vocabulary" tagline is one of many slogans Bud Light has printed on bottles as part of their #UpForWhatever campaign. The campaign has landed the company in hot water once before, when the brand sent out a tweet letting followers know that you can "pinch people who aren't #UpForWhatever."
After this incident, it's frankly dumbfounding that the latest tagline made it through countless levels of review and ended up on a beer bottle—especially given the close links between alcohol consumption and sexual assault.
At least half of sexual assaults involve the consumption of alcohol by either the perpetrator, victim, or both, according to the National Institutes of Health. That makes alcohol, by far, the most common date-rape drug. A 2004 Harvard study, for instance, found that colleges with higher binge drinking rates have more sexual assaults, and that nearly three-quarters of college rape victims reported being drunk when they were attacked.
"The perfect beer for removing 'no' from your vocabulary for the night." It sounds worse and worse the more you think about it. But somebody at Budweiser thought about it an awful lot, and decided to stick it on a bottle anyway.
In an emailed statement Alexander Lambrecht, Vice-President for Bud Light of Anheuser-Busch, said, "It’s clear that this message missed the mark, and we regret it. We would never condone disrespectful or irresponsible behavior."