Elon Musk radically settled the controversy that arose when Twitter censored The Daily Wire's documentary "What is a Woman" on the social network. After the company reactivated the post, Musk tweeted that "every parent should watch this.” Many parents took his recommendation. "What is a Woman?" was viewed over 170 million times on Twitter over the weekend.
Every parent should watch this https://t.co/pIp6UP6vq8
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 2, 2023
The controversy started when Twitter tagged the documentary for "hateful conduct"
The controversy began when Jeremy Boreing, co-founder of the media outlet along with Ben Shapiro, condemned the network for not only canceling the distribution agreement they had reached, but for limiting how they would broadcast the documentary. Twitter announced it would be labeled as "hateful conduct" due to "misgendering.”
The reason given by Twitter to justify this 180-degree turn, according to Boreing, was that "in the film, a father refers to his 14-year-old daughter as 'she,' and a store owner uses the pronoun 'wrong' in a confrontation with a trans person." The platform told The Daily Wire that they would go ahead with the deal if that scene was removed, which the documentary’s producers refused.
Elon Musk intervened and acknowledged his team made a mistaken
The scandal reached such proportions that Elon Musk himself had to intervene, and he agreed with Boreing. He acknowledged that it had all been "a mistake by many people at Twitter." He confirmed that it is "definitely allowed,” and said that not using a person’s preferred pronouns, "whether or not you agree with using someone's preferred pronouns, not doing so is, at best, impolite and certainly not breaking any laws."
This was a mistake by many people at Twitter. It is definitely allowed.
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…
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 1, 2023
Twitter lifts restrictions
Hours later, Twitter removed the restrictions from the original post. However, Musk's platform kept a warning at the beginning of the video that read: "Some viewers may find the content and imagery disturbing." In just 24 hours, the documentary obtained 100 million views.
The Daily Wire announced Saturday that it would extend the availability of the film on Twitter throughout the weekend. However, the documentary was still available for viewing on Monday. That same day, the film ranked as the most popular documentary to stream on Rotten Tomatoes.
Also on Monday, the documentary's creator, Matt Walsh, tweeted that, a year after its release, the feature film had taken the top spot in the most popular streaming movies category, beating out current productions such as Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse and John Wick 4.
A year after its release, What Is A Woman is the number one streaming movie on Rotten Tomatoes pic.twitter.com/NneGzP9EX7
— Matt Walsh (@MattWalshBlog) June 4, 2023
After Musk's intervention, the controversy seems to be completely settled, and the documentary is now available with Spanish subtitles:
— Un hombre cualquiera ✠ (@CualquieraOnvre) June 2, 2023