By Shianne Henion | February 21, 2022
From launching his “The Matt Walsh Show,” to publishing his anti-trans children’s book titled “Johnny the Walrus,” to even debating gender experts on Dr. Phil, Matt Walsh has plenty to say about transgender people and gender identity.
Yet, Walsh took it a step further by planning what he claims will “change the conversation” (Twitter). It seems his secret leaked out when Eli Erlick, a Ph.D candidate at UC Santa Cruz, called out Walsh and his team for making a fake transgender documentary, and attempting to recruit her for a source.
Via her Twitter Thread, Erlick wrote, “So, @MattWalshBlog’s crew is trying to trick trans people into joining a fake documentary. His producers set up a whole front organization (@GenderUnityProj) and tried to recruit me into his next anti-trans documentary.”
Erlick explained that she received an email a few weeks back, in which a recruiter by the name of Makenna Lynn asked if Erlick wanted to be interviewed for her project called the Gender Unity Project. In the email, Lynn said her and her team were exploring the real lives of people in the LGBTQ+ community and sought to shed light on topics of gender fluidity. At the end of the email, she signed it with her pronouns and a link to the project’s website.
Through a phone call held between Erlick and Lynn, the former wrote, “She claimed the documentary was self-funded. I was suspicious because she had finished college recently, but figured she was just rich (who has that kind of money?). Later, she told me the person they were interviewing in Chicago suddenly canceled (this happens, but is still sus).”
Lynn also reached out to Fallon Fox, a professional MMA fighter and transgender woman. Fox said she had a video call with Lynn to feel her and her team out, and then declined the interview after noting the ignorance Lynn had about transgender people.
With this ever growing doubt, Erlick decided to look Lynn up. With no apparent search results for the film maker, Erlick ended up finding her IMDB page with her real name attached. Lynn, revealed to be Makenna Waters, Lynn being her middle name, produced over two-hundred episodes of the Matt Walsh Show.
“That’s not a red flag: that’s a gun to your face,” Erlick expressed her frustration in her thread.
Samantha Lux, a transgender YouTuber, known for her commentary on transgender issues, made a video summarizing and responding to the controversy.
“He’s [Matt Walsh] the most transphobic person alive,” Lux said. “Like, he’s as transphobic as it gets.”
Lux and Walsh went back and forth over Walsh’s book “Johnny the Walrus” last month. The book is about Johnny, a little boy with an imagination. He dresses up as a walrus and his mother takes to posting a photo of him as one to social media. According to the summary, “When the internet people find out Johnny likes to make-believe, he’s forced to make a decision between the little boy he is and the things he pretends to be — and he’s not allowed to change his mind.” (Goodreads).
So, the two of them have some history.
On the Gender Unity website, their goal reads: “We aim to educate the public by leaning into the insights of experts, professionals, activists, influencers and the real life experiences of those who identify as transgender.”
Lux took issue with the phrase “identifying as transgender,” and said, “that’s just them [transphobic people] being like ‘it’s a boy that thinks he’s a girl.’
“Keep an eye out for people like that,” Lux advises.
Erlick continued to research the Gender Unity Project, and came to learn that it was registered to Justin Folk, a far-right documentarian who works for Walsh and PragerU, a 501 non profit advocacy group that preaches conversative viewpoints for the American audience.
Lux looked up Folk for her video. He worked on the documentary, “No Safe Spaces,” which featured right-wing commentators like Ben Shapiro, Dennis Prager, and, of course, Matt Walsh.
With this evidence gathered by both Lux and Erlick, there was more than enough proof to solidify Walsh’s involvement in this project. While there were only three transgender women exemplified in this article, many more, including transgender children, were contacted by this group and asked to participate in Walsh’s documentary, which was meant only to set up and decieve transgender activists.
“If this was truly a production put on by Matt Walsh, it’s not going to be this affirming, supportive documentary that’s meant to make the lives of transgender people better,” Lux finalized.
Walsh himself even hinted as much in his tweet from Jan. 22, after his episode of Dr. Phil was aired. Walsh expressed his gratitude from the support he received from that video, where he went up against LGBTQ+ consultant Addison Rose Vincent (@breakthebinary on Instagram) and their partner, Ethan Alexander (@ethansaidno on Instagram).
In his thread he claimed, “This year I will be waging an all out assault on gender ideology. We have been working on something that will make the Dr Phil episode seem tame and boring by comparison. I can’t say anything else about it but it will change the conversation. We can win this battle.”
This all but confirms the documentary Erlick called him out for making. She advises people to report Walsh’s content.
“When you go and spread hate speech and say that you’re going to start an all out assault on transgender people and gender identity, for me that’s where it gets scary,” Lux concludes in her video. “He is very clearly wanting to harm transgender people.”
Erlick finishes off her thread by calling out Walsh and urging transgender people not to respond to Lynn and other people that are part of her team.
“The last thing we need right now is another “gotcha” anti-trans documentary. Stay alert and take any media personalities with a grain of salt.
“And they say we’re the ones tricking people? Your move, @MattWalshBlog,” Erlick wrote.