Ok, Disclaimer out of the way up front. I am a Brewdog shareholder. Which makes recent week’s events even more annoying for me. They’re pushing the latest wave of the whole Equity For Punks thing so they can expand faster and they turn out this vid.

Now, at the time I found it pretty tone deaf. The co-owners of a brewery that is worth millions comparing themselves to begging on the streets. It inspired a shake of my head but nothing more.

Thing is, a few people it proper pissed off. And I can see that, it didn’t offend me, but I can see why it offended them. So, a petition popped up asking them to take down the vid as it was, to their eyes, mocking trans people, sex workers and the homeless.

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/922/392/608/

Now, again I was not offended myself, but yeah, I can see that viewpoint – it wasn’t my reading but I can see that. So, best of luck to them.

Now this is where things turn shitty. Because all Brewdog had to do was go “Crap, sorry, didn’t mean that, we trod on a few sore nerves we didn’t intend to by accident. Thanks for letting us know. We shall get on that”

And all would be happy. Cos, frankly, all people generally want is to be heard and respected. Treated like human beings, right? And that is what I expected them to do, as, well, years ago they did a video where they used “gay” as an insult, and when I pointed out that was pretty darn harmful to people growing up working out who they are, they changed the video. Cool on them. So, did they do that?

No. No they didn’t.

What follows are a few screenshots from the Equity For Punks shareholder forum.

Mayonnaisse

So, James, co founder of Brewdog decides to compare this to being offended by mayonnaise. Because of course dehumanisation of mayonnaise is a common problem that leads to people being violently assaulted, raped, and killed. Oh wait, no it fucking isn’t.

So, then James decides that this petition can’t matter because.

James Stats 1

Oh, ok, no one has watched the vid, so they are just going by what they are told, except, well the video is in multiple places on the internet and one of them has 24K views. So what does James say when informed that his assumption was incorrect – does he acknowledge his mistake?

James stats 2

Hahah. No. Apparently we can assume no one has watched the video because. Well James says so. With no evidence whatsoever. This is where I am starting to genuinely get annoyed myself. It is one thing to make a mistake, that happens to us all. It is another to completely ignore voices against you, dismissing them as basically rent an offended who haven’t even watched the video, just because they disagree with you. Sex workers,trans people and the homeless are often people denied a voice, and when they speak out and people speak out for them – you dismiss that voice? That genuinely offends me.

So, what we see next is what seems to sum up James’ misunderstanding of the situation in my mind.

James Social Justice

This is, of course, referring to the fact they did a beer against Putin’s anti LGBT polices and donated money to LGBT causes. Which is great. Genuinely great, Except… Doing good things in the past doesn’t negate bad things you do in the future. Doing bad things in the past doesn’t mean you can’t do good things in the future. Every act stands alone.

There is this pervasive idea in out culture that there are the good people, and the bad people, and any criticism is trying to put you in the bad people box. There aren’t. There are just people. Complete racists can have one friend of a different ethnic group they look out for. People who fight for social justice can slip up and say something offensive, or hold bigoted views on immigration.

None of us are 100% perfect and none are 100% monsters. When people point out you have done something wrong, they aren’t generally on some great kick to label you a monster worse than Hitler. They just want to be heard. All you have to do is listen, and learn from your mistakes, that is all.

It is worth noting that Stonewall, who are one of the people who you donated to, are asking you to cut that shit out.

http://www.marketingmagazine.co.uk/article/1363550/stonewall-joins-calls-brewdog-pull-ad-mocking-transsexuals-homeless

You respect their opinion right? That is why you donated to them, not just as some cheap marketing gimmick for publicity right? Then please listen.

Your response Brewdog, is just basically a bunch of words making out that the people against you are just offended for fun, and again, dismissing the voices you once claimed to stand for, because suddenly it is inconvenient.

https://www.brewdog.com/lowdown/blog/yes-we-discriminate

Your defence is often that you are a punk, fun loving brewery – well, to quote Anti flag

“You’ve mistaken the punk scene for the Republican convention”

The video was tone deaf to me, your response has genuinely pissed me off – and I say this as someone who has a long history of being a fan.

Please, Brewdog, James, Listen to people. You used to do that, when did you become so big that you decided to stop? Apologising, learning, doesn’t make you lesser, It makes you the better person. Please listen.

Sigh

So, to not end on such a down note. Scroobius Pip has done an excellent podcast with Tall Dark Friend, which covered her music and trans topics.

https://www.acast.com/distractionpieces/talldarkfriend-distractionpiecespodcastwithscroobiuspip-57

It also has her excellent tune “In Heels” on it – check it out

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