The Matt Walsh documentary is a controversial movie called “What Is a Woman” about gender and transgender topics that the Daily Wire podcaster says has accrued more than 110 million views since it was available to stream on Twitter and the Daily Wire platform.
“110 million views and a 120 thousand retweets. Incredible,” Walsh tweeted on June 3, 2023, but the launch started with controversy about Twitter’s handling of the movie.
Walsh is a conservative commentator and podcaster who hosts “The Matt Walsh Show” at The Daily Wire.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Twitter CEO Elon Musk Pinned the Documentary to the Top of His Twitter Page After Matt Walsh Accused Twitter of Censoring It
The documentary’s streaming led to accusations of censorship by Twitter, resulting in Twitter CEO Elon Musk pinning the movie to the top of his Twitter page, where he suggested that all parents watch it.
Daily Variety reported that Twitter was initially accused of censoring the Matt Walsh documentary for “misgendering” people.
“This was a mistake by many people at Twitter. It is definitely allowed,” Musk wrote. “Whether or not you agree with using someone’s preferred pronouns, not doing so is at most rude and certainly breaks no laws. I should note that I do personally use someone’s preferred pronouns, just as I use someone’s preferred name, simply from the standpoint of good manners. However, for the same reason, I object to rude behavior, ostracism or threats of violence if the wrong pronoun or name is used.”
Matt Walsh wrote on Twitter, “It’s been a wild 24 hours. It began with Twitter labeling our film hate speech and completely suppressing it, and ends with all suppression lifted and Elon Musk himself tweeting out the film and urging people to watch it. A huge win.”
Daily Wire’s Ben Shapiro tweeted, “Thanks, @elonmusk! Overnight, visibility limits on the movie have been removed. Elon continues to work to make good on his pledge to keep Twitter an open platform!”
Walsh wrote, “It was a battle but free speech wins in the end. The film can now be seen and shared by all.”
2. The Matt Walsh Documentary, Dubbed ‘the Movie They Really Don’t Want You to See,’ Could Be Viewed for Free the Weekend of June 3, 2023, Via Twitter
Daily Wire tweeted the 1.5 hour long documentary, writing, “It’s the movie they really don’t want you to see: #WhatIsAWoman? Watch the explosive documentary starring @MattWalshBlog FREE on Twitter for 24 hrs.” The 24 hours then grew to include the weekend.
It’s free through the end of the weekend.
Walsh’s website describes him as “a writer, speaker, author, and one of the religious Right’s most influential young voices. He is known for boldly tackling the tough subjects and speaking out on faith and culture in a way that connects with his generation and beyond.”
3. Matt Walsh Accused Movie Critics of Ignoring the Documentary
“The film has been seen by millions of people but still only six movie critics have dared to review it. And none of them are from major mainstream publications,” Walsh tweeted.
“I try not to think about this. Our film has been banned from most platforms. Mainstream movie critics refused to even review it. It’s been blacklisted and suppressed and yet still reached a massive audience. But how many more could we have reached without the deck stacked completely against us? It’s no use lamenting these things,” Walsh tweeted.
As of June 4, 2023, the film had an 83% positive critics score and 86% positive audience score on Rotten Tomatoes. Rotten Tomatoes did list only six reviews by critics, five positive and one coded as negative.
4. Some News Outlets Have Labeled the Matt Walsh Documentary ‘Transphobic’
Rolling Stone wrote an article headlined, “Why Are Social Media Companies Taking Ad Money From a Right-Wing Transphobic Doc?”
“For years, right-wing commentator, Daily Wire host, and all-around s***** provocateur Matt Walsh has used his platform to go after trans people. So it’s not surprising that this essentialist ideology has become the centerpiece of his new documentary, What Is a Woman?” Rolling Stone wrote.
Rolling Stone wrote, “Walsh interviews academics, psychologists, and trans people themselves about transitioning and asking people how they know they are a woman. He attends a women’s rights march trying to find the answer and even makes his way to Africa to ask a tribe of men how a woman is defined.” Rolling Stone reported that, when production staff reached out to “prominent LGBTQ activists,” they described the film as “exploring the real lives of people in the LGBTQIA+ communities.”
The New Republic ran a story that read, “Elon Musk Personally Elevates Transphobic Video Originally Flagged as Hate Speech,” calling the documentary “The Daily Wire’s transphobic documentary What Is a Woman? hosted by the vicious and intellectually dull Matt Walsh.”
5. Matt Walsh, Who Used to Be a Radio Host, Has Found Himself in a Number of Controversies Over the Years
Walsh started as a talk radio host. Walsh started working for The Blaze in 2014 after his website, which offered cultural commentary from a conservative perspective, garnered millions of views.
In 2017, he joined the Daily Wire, announcing the move on Twitter.
Walsh has caused controversy before, such as when South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem, a Republican, accused him of “horrible misogyny” for saying, “Kristi Noem is a very attractive woman. So she’s got that going for her,” while adding that there was “no use” for her, according to CNN. According to CNN, he added, “As far as I can tell that’s the only reason why she was ever looked at as some sort of 2024 potential frontrunner. The hype and everything that she’s gotten from conservative media is entirely based on the fact that she’s an extremely attractive woman, which she is. But you put 50 pounds on her and another 20 years? I don’t think she gets any of the hype.”
According to Media Matters, “From early 2010 through August 1, 2011, Matt Walsh co-hosted a radio show called The Matt and Crank Program along with Andrew ‘Crank’ Murr at WZBH ‘The Beach’ 93.5 FM based in Georgetown, Delaware.” According to WGMD.com, “Listener reaction has been positive after his first evening on the air.”
According to Media Matters, Walsh once said, “we probably lost our republic after Reconstruction” and that “as the Anglo-Saxons, which were the original Americans, die off, our identity and our culture goes with it.” He once said, “if you want extreme change, you must take extreme action,” Media Matters reported.
The Hill reported that Walsh wrote a children’s picture book “Johnny the Walrus,” that “equates the trans experience with a young boy who imagines he is a walrus.”
GLAAD tweeted of his book, “This is horrible. @AmazonHelp Please remove this book from the LGBTQ category immediately. It is absolutely not an LGBTQ book. It specifically targets transgender people with hateful and dehumanizing rhetoric.”