Garth Brooks is arguably the biggest star ever in country music. He made the genre accessible to everyone in the early 90s, shifting away from the more traditional style of country to what eventually morphed into what we have today. He is also regarded as one of the nicer people in the industry. Or at least was.
Since ripping on Bud Light boycotters last week, Brooks popularity has taken a hit just like Bud Light’s did. No, Brooks isn’t partnering with with Dylan Mulvaney, but he did make the mistake of criticizing people who no longer drink the former number one beer while calling them derogatory names. Not a good look for a man about to enter the ultra-competitive Lower Broadway bar scene.
After making his remarks, many folks on social media sharply rebuked Brooks, with promises to boycott his “Friends in Low Places” bar. Now in full damage control, Brooks is attempting to spin his remarks before it gets any worse.
On a Tuesday livestream, Brooks attempted to smooth the rough edges. He said: “I get it. Everybody’s got their opinions. But inclusiveness is always going to be me. I think diversity is the answer to the problems that are here and the answer to the problems that are coming. So I love diversity. All included, so all are welcome. I understand that might not be other people’s opinions, but that’s okay. They have their opinions, they have their beliefs, I have mine.”
While that is hardly an apology as opposed to just a reiteration of his “everyone is welcome” mindset, he at least refrained from using curse words aimed at folks that think different from him.
John Rich, owner of the “Redneck Riviera,” recently spoke of how the patrons made his decision for him as they stopped purchasing Bud Light. Brooks now seems to be leaning into what Rich said.
Brooks continued: “Let’s talk about being a bar owner, I’m a bar owner now. Are we going to have most popular beers in the thing? Yes. It’s not our call if we don’t or not. It’s the patrons’ call, the bosses, right? Bring them in there, if they don’t want it, I got to go to the distributors and say, ‘Hey man, you’re stuff’s not selling,’ and then the action gets taken.”
This is essentially what Rich did, as he reportedly had to ship multiple cases and kegs back to the distributor. Unfortunately for Brooks he made it political with his inflammatory comments. Ultimately sales will decide, and if customers aren’t buying it, that doesn’t make them a******s like Brooks implied.
@garthbrooks I was a huge fan of yours back in the early nineties, before you fell into the trap of being a star, before you left your high school sweetheart, remember her?
It was always about your fans. Now, we’re, “a******s” for boycotting Budweiser?
Welcome to the boycott.😏 https://t.co/vuPeRSl89N
— Michelle🍊 (@Montchelle66_2) June 9, 2023
The superstar took one last, half-hearted swing at making things right: “So, here’s the deal man, if you want to come to Friends in Low Places, come in, come in with love. Come in with tolerance. Patience. Come in with an open mind and it’s cool. And if you’re one of those people that just can’t do that, I get it. If you are ever one of those people that ever want to try, come. Let’s go have some fun.”
While not exactly an apology, Brooks is trying to soften his stance on folks that refuse to drink Bud Light, as he should. No one should be forced to drink something that violates their principles, and no one should be castigated for making a personal choice with their dollars.
Whether or not this will damage Brooks’ soon-to-open bar remains to be seen, but if it does, there are plenty of places on Lower Broadway to get a cold one anyway.
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