Far from pitcher-perfect

Ron DeSantis is setting the stage to serve AB InBev a lawsuit

The Florida governor instructed the state’s investment board to probe Bud Light's parent company

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Not buddies with Florida governor.
Not buddies with Florida governor.
Photo: Drew Angerer (Getty Images)

The tumultuous tussle with Disney hasn’t quenched Ron DeSantis’s thirst for picking up fights with major corporates. The Florida governor is now going after Bud Light brewer AB InBev, instructing the state’s investment board to investigate the company, and threatening a lawsuit.

In a letter to Florida’s State Board of Administration (SBA) dated July 20, DeSantis alleged that Bud Light, America’s formerly best-selling beer, has become a “social pariah” after aligning with “radical social ideologies” and “may have breached legal duties owed to its shareholders.” DeSantis, who is running for the Republican presidential nomination, was referring to the mishandled Bud Light’s April campaign with trans influencer Dylan Mulvaney, which attracted right-wing backlash—DeSantis himself chirped in to say Bud Light lost him as a customer and even released a spoof ad. As the brand tried to distance itself from the ad, it attracted criticism from the LGBTQ community, with some venues boycotting the brand.


Since both sales of Bud Light and the AB InBev stock have taken a beating since the controversy, DeSantis claimed retaining the investment will harm shareholders.

“We must prudently manage the funds of Florida’s hardworking law enforcement officers, teachers, firefighters and first responders in a manner that focuses on growing returns, not subsidizing an ideological agenda through woke virtue signaling,” wrote DeSantis, who’s desperate to catch up to his rival Donald Trump in the crowded field of Republican presidential hopefuls.


DeSantis’s latest move aligns with the Republican party’s campaign to discredit companies who champion diversity and sustainability initiatives, from LGBTQ-targeted marketing to fossil fuel divestment, as “woke” and as hurting profits despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

One big number: Florida SBA’s AB InBev investment

$50 million: How much DeSantis said the pension had million invested in AB InBev stock. Funds Florida SBA manages, including the Florida Retirement System (FRS) Pension Plan, flexible Florida Retirement System (FRS) Investment Plan, Florida PRIME, and the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund

Charted: AB InBev’s stock downslide


A non-exhaustive list Ron DeSantis’ conservative iron fist Florida 

👩‍🏫 The so-called “Don’t Say Gay” bill, which prohibits discussions of gender identity and sexual orientation in classrooms from kindergarten through grade 12.


🌈 Anti-LGBTQ legislation, one of which empowers the state to revoke the operating and alcohol licenses for establishments that allow minors into a drag performance, and another that denies gender-affirming care for kids and teens

🍃 Anti-ESG legislation bars state officials from considering “environmental, social and governance” goals while investing public money


Company of interest: Costco

Speculation that Costco could drop Bud Light stems from the appearance of an asterisk on some price labels. The “star of death” is typically a sign that the product will not be restocked once current inventory runs out.


Plus, it’s being sold at deeply discounted prices. One Twitter user shared a photo of a Bud Light 12-pack being sold for $14.97, saying Costco was “practically giving away Bud Light.”

The company has not made an official announcement pulling the product yet.

Related stories

🏳️‍🌈 The other battle brewing in Florida over Disney and the “Don’t Say Gay” bill


💃 A Florida restaurant is suing DeSantis to keep hosting family-friendly drag shows

🎪 Disney canceled plans for a billion-dollar project in Florida following feud with governor Ron DeSantis