One year after its original release, The Daily Wire’s “What Is A Woman?” documentary soared to new heights prompted by a Twitter premiere that featured a dramatic triumph over social media censorship.
The tweet of the 90-minute film, which features Daily Wire host Matt Walsh asking tough questions underlying the gender ideology movement, has amassed more than 170 million views since being posted by The Daily Wire’s Twitter account Thursday — the first day of Pride Month — making it one of the most successful documentaries of all time.
For comparison, an estimated 19.3 million viewers watched the final episode of HBO’s “Game of Thrones” when it premiered in 2019, President Joe Biden’s most recent State of the Union drew 27.3 million people.
Such a milestone initially seemed impossible.
When “What Is A Woman?” was posted for Twitter users to view for free on Thursday, Twitter labeled the documentary as “hateful conduct” and restricted its visibility because of two instances of supposed “misgendering.” In response to a viral thread by Daily Wire co-CEO Jeremy Boreing about the ordeal, Twitter owner Elon Musk insisted the penalties were a mistake by “many people” at Twitter. Still, users were restrained in their ability to retweet, “like,” or even comment on the post throughout the night.
Backlash to the censorship was fierce, led by small accounts and prominent figures alike who questioned whether “Twitter 2.0” under Musk was truly the free speech platform they were promised. Outrage grew until the restrictions were lifted by early Friday morning when Musk himself promoted the film by retweeting the post.
“Every parent should watch this,” Musk said in the tweet, which he subsequently pinned to the top of his page.
The rollercoaster Twitter rollout of “What Is A Woman?,” punctuated by the abrupt departure of Twitter’s trust and safety department chief Ella Irwin, made waves over the weekend. Not only did the story trend on Twitter in countries all over the world, but it garnered media coverage in an eclectic array of publications, including The Daily Beast, Variety, NBC News, CNN, and National Review.
“Definitely world champion Streisand Effect! This is being covered almost everywhere on Earth,” Musk observed as the viewership numbers rapidly climbed.
By Sunday, the 90-minute documentary appeared at the top of the “Most Popular” section of the “Best Movies at Home” list on Rotten Tomatoes for the month of June, beating out Hollywood juggernauts such as “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” and “The Super Mario Bros. Movie.” The documentary also boasted a positive audience score of 96% before an apparent blitz of one-star reviews by trolls brought the score down just below 90%.
“‘What Is A Woman?’ has been such a massive success that the Left can only resort to flooding the audience reviews on Rotten Tomatoes with one-star ratings from people who didn’t watch the film,” Walsh noted on Twitter.
People of many different backgrounds touted the documentary — even if they didn’t agree with every aspect of the film. “This is quite incredible,” tweeted Australian politician David Limbrick. “110m+ views on a rocket in a matter of hours. My wife and I just watched it. There are problems with it but there’s also serious issues raised that need to be discussed. Simply smearing it as ‘transphobic’ and attempting to censor it isn’t an option anymore.”
“Incredibly impressed with the creativity, clarity and courage of [Walsh] and his film, #WhatIsAWoman. Amazing work and amazing film — a must watch,” tweeted Lila Rose, president of the pro-life group Live Action.