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Waterloo Oktoberfest yanks Busch Light over its stance on Carson King

The beer company has severed ties with the viral fundraiser

Carson King shows the beer can displaying his face. The Waterloo Oktoberfest on Thursday yanked sales of Busch Light beer at the festival, in protest of the beer company cutting ties with King, who’s raised about $1.7 million for the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital. (Submitted by Carson King)
Carson King shows the beer can displaying his face. The Waterloo Oktoberfest on Thursday yanked sales of Busch Light beer at the festival, in protest of the beer company cutting ties with King, who’s raised about $1.7 million for the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital. (Submitted by Carson King)

WATERLOO — The Carson King controversy has spilled into this weekend’s Iowa Oktoberfest in downtown Waterloo.

Organizers of the event have pulled Busch Light beer from their tap list after Anheuser-Busch cut its ties with the Iowan over offensive social media comments he made as a teenager eight years ago.

“We just felt it was best to support a local Iowan and his cause,” said Oktoberfest’s Chad Shipman. “We want to support Carson King’s cause, and that’s giving money back to the hospital.”

King, 24, earned fame after a sign he was holding on ESPN’s “College GameDay” asking for money to buy Busch Light began garnering thousands of dollars, which he donated to the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital.

Venmo and Anheuser-Busch matched donations to the campaign, which has garnered about $1.7 million to date, and the beer company even put King’s image on its Busch Light cans.

But Anheuser-Busch cut its ties to King this week, although will still honor its donation. The cut ties came as the Des Moines Register discovered the 2011 Twitter comments. King apologized for the tweets, which were related to the TV show “Tosh.0.”

The situation made national news and prompted a backlash against Anheuser-Busch and the Register.

Shipman said Oktoberfest organizers thought it was a double standard that Anheuser-Busch advertises on Comedy Central, where the “Tosh.0” show aired.

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“We will have fundraising activities at Oktoberfest for people to donate to Carson King’s cause,” Shipman said. “We appreciate Busch Light for matching the donation, but we want to continue to support the cause and keep the cause relevant.”

Oktoberfest events run from 5 p.m. Friday and run throughout Saturday night.

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