Three people who were interviewed in the anti-trans film What Is a Woman? say the filmmakers used deceptive recruiting tactics that contradicted the doc’s promise to be a “fearless” examination of the modern gender debate.
The participants told NBC News that they felt they’d been “tricked” by producers who hid behind the facade of flattering and vague language. Dr. Marci Bowers, a California surgeon whose patients include trans women, provided the outlet with what she referred to as a “completely deceptive” email from a producer. According to a copy provided to NBC News, the email poses the doc as a film about transgender people and the “challenges they face in today’s culture.”
The film, which released in June 2022 and is narrated by right-wing troll Matt Walsh, premiered on Daily Wire’s website and received little attention at the time — despite buying ads on major social media platforms like TikTok, Facebook, and Instagram, to promote the film. In June, the doc went viral after Twitter owner and billionaire Elon Musk promoted the video on his own account, resulting in two high-level departures from the social media company within 24 hours. “Every parent should watch this,” the CEO had caption on the video. Under Musk’s supervision, Twitter had removed a policy in April against the “targeted misgendering or deadnaming of transgender individuals.”
Naia Ōkami, a trans woman, said she would not have agreed to appearing in the film if Walsh’s team had been transparent about their perspective. Ōkami said she felt the Daily Wire founder had used her to capture “gotcha” footage for the film. “It was complete fraud in my opinion,” she said. “He wanted to use me to make us look ridiculous, to make us look sensational.”
Dr. Michelle Forcier, a professor of pediatrics at Brown University, said that Walsh’s staff had pitched what seemed to be a genuine interest in the science behind puberty blockers. “I said, ‘sure.’ Learning about blockers is really important, and I’m always trying to be available to talk about the science and help people understand,” she said.
However, a few minutes into the interview Walsh compared puberty blockers to “chemical castration” and said gender dysphoria was similar to believing in Santa Claus. Dr. Forcier cut the interview short. “He was getting frustrated because I just wouldn’t say some of the things he wanted me to say,” she said.
In February 2022, trans activist Eli Erlick exposed how the The Daily Wire used deceptive tactics to attempt to recruit transgender people, including her, into participating in What Is a Woman? Walsh’s production team used pseudonyms, and had created a shield organization titled The Gender Unity Project to mask the project’s association with the right-wing website.
Erlick told Rolling Stone that anti-trans influencer Robby Starbuck, had recently tried to recruit for another doc-style video titled It Takes a Village. “A person named Morgan K. reached out to me,” Erlick told Rolling Stone. “I am still dealing with backlash from exposing Matt Walsh, and so I’m pretty skeptical about documentaries that won’t even tell me who the producer is.”
Emails provided to Rolling Stone by Elrick showed a request from a woman named Morgan Kelly. “We want to present the real story of the battles trans youth face and the activism surrounding it. We also touch on the drag issue and how schools are adapting to demands for more inclusion,” Kelly wrote in an email.
While Dr. Bowers said that she doesn’t necessarily regret the interview with Walsh, she emphasized that the lack of education increases misunderstandings of the trans community.
“He edited it in a way that wasn’t fair, so it doesn’t leave people with any sort of knowledge or education,” she told NBC News. “It just heightens their fears of trans people — to his and his viewers’ loss.”
Source link: https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-news/matt-walsh-what-is-a-woman-film-participants-tricked-1234795917/