The decade's most triggering comedy
After a whirlwind of controversy — in which Twitter promised to promote, then vowed to censor, The Daily Wire’s documentary “What is a Woman?” — the film finally began streaming in full, free of charge, on the social media platform on Friday and will continue to do so throughout the weekend.
In fact, the film received a surprise endorsement of Twitter’s owner. “Every parent should watch this,” Elon Musk tweeted Friday morning to his 140 million followers.
“Once again, the Left’s efforts to censor and suppress have backfired in spectacular fashion,” tweeted Matt Walsh, who stars in the documentary. “What a great way to ring in Pride Month.”
The Daily Wire tweet that features the film has been viewed over 130 million times.
Twitter’s decision to allow “What is a Woman?” to stream without significant restrictions came only after The Daily Wire’s CEO, Jeremy Boreing, published a lengthy Twitter thread on Thursday outlining what the social media company was planning.
Boreing wrote that Twitter, after first agreeing to create a custom landing page to promote “What is a Woman?” had abruptly decided to label the film as “hateful conduct” because it contained two instances of “misgendering.”
In one of those alleged instances of “misgendering,” a Canadian father refers to his 14-year-old daughter as a “she.” The father had been arrested by the Canadian government for objecting to doctors who were flooding her body with cross-sex hormones. In another instance, a Vietnam veteran who owns a store selling Star Wars memorabilia refuses to call a trans-identifying councilman a “councilwoman.”
Boreing’s thread touched off a firestorm of criticism against Twitter, from across the political spectrum.
“There are no possible legitimate grounds for suppression of “What is a Woman?” tweeted journalist Matt Taibbi. “The movie contains no threats, no trick editing, and no hate speech — its satirical point is made using the statements of trans activists. If this can be suppressed, anything can.”
The Daily Wire’s Ben Shapiro, Candace Owens, Andrew Klavan, and Michael Knowles also condemned Twitter’s abrupt decision to censor the film. Within hours, Boreing’s thread prompted a reply from Musk personally, who claimed there had been a “mistake by many people” at Twitter.
Musk did not name anyone in particular. But by the end of the day, the head of Twitter’s Trust and Safety Department, Ella Irwin had left the company. Shortly afterwards, a brand-safety official at Twitter, Maie Aiyed — who has a lengthy history of denigrating white people — also departed the company. And on Friday, Twitter’s head of brand safety and ad quality resigned.
But despite Musk’s tweet, and the resignations, when The Daily Wire premiered the film on Twitter on Thursday night, Twitter initially labeled it as “hateful conduct” and prevented users from sharing it.
As the film was being throttled, Boreing tweeted a picture with several Daily Wire personalities. “A terrible day, but nice to be in the fox hole with the best team in the business,” he wrote.
Around the same time, Musk clarified that while users would soon be able to share the documentary, it “won’t be recommended to non-followers (nor will any advertising be associated with it).” Musk stated that the film was “sensitive content.”
Boreing continued to press Musk on that point. “Have you reviewed the film, and can you tell me what makes it “sensitive content?” he asked. Musk did not reply.
Overnight, the changes that Musk promised went into effect. “Works now,” Musk told Walsh. “Only limit is that it will not be placed next to advertising.”
By early morning, the leadership of The Daily Wire was celebrating the reversal as a major win not simply for their company, but for the freedom of speech.
“Thanks, @elonmusk!” tweeted Shapiro. “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!”