Controversial influencer Dylan Mulvaney has been added to the promotional campaign for Lionsgate’s struggling adaptation of Judy Blume’s seminal novel ‘Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret.’
The film, which stars Rachel McAdams and Kathy Bates and tells the story of the title character’s dealing with faith and puberty in New Jersey, has struggled to date at the box office, earning just $16million in three weeks.
Despite the films 99 percent critical rating on Rotten Tomatoes – along with an equally impressive 94 percent audience score – the film hasn’t come close to making back its $30million budget.
That has led the studio Lionsgate to bring out ‘a last-minute paid partnership to draw attention to the film’ with Mulvaney – whose advertisement with Bud Light has seen sales drop up to 20 percent a week – posting an interview with the celebrated author Blume on TikTok, according to Hollywood in Toto.
‘Are you there God, it’s me, Dylan!’ Mulvaney excitedly begins the clip, which she captioned by calling Blume – who backtracked after receiving backlash for saying she is ‘100 per cent’ behind Harry Potter writer J.K. Rowling – ‘one of my heroes.’
Controversial influencer Dylan Mulvaney (pictured left) has been added to the promotional campaign for Lionsgate’s struggling adaptation of Judy Blume’s (pictured right) seminal novel ‘Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret’
‘Get tickets and take your mom, grandma, or the mother figure in your life to see Are You There God? #ItsMeMargaret this Mother’s Day weekend. It’s the iconic story we all love finally on the big screen! #lionsgatepartner,’ she added in the caption.
Mulvaney spoke to Blume about freedom of speech and the banning of books like hers.
‘What I am saying now is, having lived through the ’80s with the book banning, what’s going on now is scarier and much worse,’ Blume argued.
Blume, 85, who is known for teen novels Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret and Deenie, said she had wanted to show empathy with Rowling as someone ‘who has been harassed online’.
The New Jersey-born author said her comments to the Sunday Times were ‘taken out of context’ in a tweet today defending herself against criticism she received for the interview.
‘I stand with the trans community and vehemently disagree with anyone who does not support equality and acceptance for LGBTQIA+ people. Anything to the contrary is total bull****.’
Even so, when asked by Mulvaney about how ‘young creatives’ should share their stories despite being ‘scared of societal backlash,’ Blume said to ignore censors.
Rowling has been heavily criticised in recent years for her remarks about trans rights, facing backlash from LGBTQ groups, but has denied being transphobic.
Abby Ryder Fortson stars as the titular character in Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret
The film, which stars Rachel McAdams and Kathy Bates and tells the story of the title character’s dealing with faith and puberty in New Jersey, has struggled to date at the box office, earning just $16million in three weeks
Judy Blume, 85, who is known for young adult novels Are You There God? It’s Me, said her comments on supporting JK Rowling were taken out of context
Harry Potter author JK Rowling has been heavily criticized in recent years for her remarks about trans rights
Blume has also faced online abuse in the past for themes in her books, which are typically coming of age stories shedding light on adolescent sexuality and puberty.
The article’s author, journalist Hadley Freeman, previously described herself as a ‘gender critical feminist’.
Seemingly agreeing with Freeman over her love for the Harry Potter author, Blume said of Rowling in the interview: ‘And I love her… I am behind her 100 per cent as I watch from afar.’
She added that she hadn’t reached out to Rowling over online backlash, saying: ‘I met her very early on in her Harry Potter career, and she said to me, ‘Oh, my sister and I used to read all your books,’ and she talked about Deenie.
‘I think once or twice we sent each other little notes. But I haven’t been in touch with her during this tough time. Probably I should.’
In a tweet last night rebutting the characterization of her comments in the Sunday Times, Blume was clear on her feelings about the article.
She went on to say: ‘What are you protecting your children from? Protecting your children means educating them and arming them with knowledge, and reading and supporting what they want to read.
‘No child is going to become transgender or gay or lesbian because they read a book. It’s not going to happen. They may say, ‘Oh, this is just like me. This is what I’m feeling and thinking about.”
‘Or, “I’m interested in this because I have friends who may be gay, bi, lesbian.” They want to know!’
‘I just read a book that was wonderfully enlightening to me. It’s called ‘Gender Queer’ [a memoir by Maia Kobabe]. It’s probably the No. 1 banned book in America right now.
‘And I thought, “This young person is telling me how they came to be what they are today.” And I learned a lot, and became even more empathetic. That’s what books are all about.’
Blume was criticized by some for sympathizing with Rowling, with supporters of trans rights saying ‘people need to stop framing criticism as harassment’.
Bud Light’s sales plummeting by as much as 20 percent week-on-week could become the ‘new norm’ after the company’s disastrous Dylan Mulvaney debacle.
Industry analysts have warned that unless something drastic changes, the negative volume trends will continue into the summer months, as a result of the beer brand’s partnership with the transgender influencer.
For the week ending May 6, in-store sales of Bud Light across the US were down 23.6 percent compared to the year before. And the week before that, ending April 29, sales dropped by 23.3 percent.
This follows declines in sales for the week ending April 22, which were at 21.4 percent. And seven days earlier, the dip was 17 percent, according to NielsenIQ data provided to Dailymail.com by Bump Williams Consultancy.
Dylan Mulvaney, 26, posted her first collaboration with Bud Light on April 1.
Bump Williams, an alcohol industry analyst, said Bud Light’s sales could continue to fall by as much as 20 percent a week after the beer company’s Dylan Mulvaney debacle
The controversial trans influencer was sent a can of Bud Light with her face on it to celebrate a year since she transitioned from male to female.
The data – showing that US sales are dropping by as much as 20 percent each week – has since been described by industry experts as ‘bad.’
Bump Williams from Bump Williams Consultancy told DailyMail.com: ‘I don’t think the declines in sales/volume will get any worse, but I do think their negative volume trends will continue.’
He said that sales dipping by 20 percent seems to be the new ‘norm’ for Bud Light.
But he added that experts are waiting to see what will happen to sales over Memorial Day and summer selling season to assess if the damage will continue.
Williams, who specializes in the alcohol industry, told the St Louis Business Journal: ‘This seems to be where the brand’s weekly declines have started to settle, falling in that -20% range over the past few week.
‘I wonder if this is going to be the ‘floor’ for expected Bud Light declines moving forward unless something drastic changes.’
DailyMail.com reached out to Lionsgate and Anheuser-Busch for further comment.