Coopers has copped yet another lambasting for its involvement in The Bible Society’s marriage equality campaign, this time from the two Liberal MPs who featured in it.
The popular beer brand has gone into damage control since The Bible Society released a video series that features Liberal conservative Christian MP Andrew Hastie and agnostic gay MP Tim Wilson discussing same-sex marriage while drinking Coopers Premium Light beer.
Coopers has issued a trio of statements clarifying, denying and apologising for its involvement in a campaign, which didn’t stop the beer brewer’s taps being turned off at pubs in Sydney and Melbourne in protest.
However, Hastie described Coopers’ backdown as a “craven capitulation” that showed “little spine”.
“The whole point of this video was to demonstrate that two MPs can disagree on a very important issue and still be friends and still respect each other,” he told Fairfax.
“The public reaction from the left has demonstrated there is something seriously wrong at the heart of our democracy. I had no idea when I did this with Tim that we would trigger so many people on Twitter.
“They [Coopers Brewery] are apologising for nothing – they’ve done nothing wrong.”
Meanwhile, Wilson said Coopers’ response was “way over the top”.
“I think it is a sign that there’s a section of society that is very intolerant of a difference of opinion on an issue like this today,” he told Fairfax.
“I think it only calls to the point of the video, which is to have respectful disagreement. Both side of the argument were presented very respectfully, with a bit of humour.
“I think this response has been way over the top and shows just how easily people use the idea of being offended today now to boycott companies when they haven’t done anything wrong, when their product was simply used a prop as part of showing how you can have a robust discussion.
“We were given the beers and I was a bit surprised to be quite frank, as it was recorded just after noon and I don’t tend to have a drink at lunchtime. If you look, my bottle is very full because I didn’t sip any of it.”