Update (9/8/23): Matt Walsh reacted to this article by sharing it with his audience on X (formerly Twitter), writing simply “lol.”
In an April 24 video posted to YouTube, Matt Walsh confirmed that his channel had been stripped of advertiser revenue, a first step to either permanent demonetization or a ban from the platform, claiming that the penalty would cost him more than $100,000 per month. Walsh then explained that he could “get back into YouTube’s good graces” and restore advertiser revenue to his channel by “simply respecting preferred pronouns and refraining from offering any meaningful critiques of gender ideology.”
He didn’t do any of that, misgendering Lia Thomas in multiple videos, attacking Bud Light, Disney, and Target with false accusations of “grooming” and “promoting transgenderism,” and claiming that LGBTQ activists demand child sacrifice. At least half a dozen videos published after Walsh’s demonetization and reviewed by Media Matters appear to violate YouTube’s advertiser-friendly guidelines. Three months later, YouTube restored advertiser revenue to his channel anyway.
An August 25 YouTube video titled “Kids Are Now Being Forced To Learn Radical Gender Theory” features organic advertiser content while Walsh declares that LGBTQ activists believe “public schools should groom all kids” and that they demand “you offer your children up to them as sacrifices on their altar.” Ad content now also appears on Walsh’s videos from before he was demonetized, including one in which he attacks trans TikTok star Dylan Mulvaney, misgenders her multiple times, and calls her “a monster of our own making,” as well as on a shorter version of the same rant focused entirely on Mulvaney and the influencer’s connection to Bud Light.
During his suspension from advertiser revenue, Walsh stopped posting the full version of his show to YouTube, opting instead to post it to the Daily Wire’s own website and X.com (formerly Twitter). But in shorter videos posted to YouTube, Walsh continued attacking Dylan Mulvaney and Bud Light, in defiance of YouTube’s disciplinary ruling, with a May 5 video mocking the brand’s poor sales, during which the podcaster declared, “It is going to make brands in the future think long and hard about promoting transgenderism.”
Walsh’s flouting of YouTube guidelines didn’t stop there. In a video posted May 22, Walsh blasted former Vice President Mike Pence for siding with “the Disney groomers,” whom the Daily Wire personality claimed support “the castration and mutilation of kids” and “pornographic content in elementary schools.” The same day, Walsh called for a boycott of Target, saying, “Anyone who is making anything related to Pride, the Pride flag and all that — it’s all satanic imagery.”
A video posted on June 2 contained some vivid verbal imagery, with Walsh saying, “We take Bud Light and we put its head on a — on a pike, okay, at the entrance of the town, to show the other woke corporations: This is what we can do. We can actually do this to you. We can destroy you.” Walsh then pivoted to Target, with a similarly blunt message: “To be seen walking out of Target carrying the Target bag with the Target symbol — it’s like you’re a groomer too.”
Walsh also attacked former University of Pennsylvania swimmer Lia Thomas. Throughout an interview with one of Thomas’ former teammates, over a year after her final swim meet, Walsh repeatedly deadnamed and misgendered the swimmer. Walsh himself seemed aware that he was violating YouTube’s community guidelines, as he promoted the interview two days later in a separate video, instructing viewers they could find the video on Twitter or YouTube, at least “until YouTube takes it down.” Walsh misgendered Thomas in that video as well.
In a video posted June 9, Walsh called me “depraved and insane” for defending the rights of adults to seek gender affirming care.
Without official ad content, Walsh started inserting ads for gold, skin care brand Genucel, and ExpressVPN into his monologues. At the same time, Walsh excoriated YouTube for its guidelines, saying, “Now they decided that if you just use the word ‘him’ in relation to a man who prefers to be seen as a woman, now that’s harassment.”
The platform blinked first. The Social Blade previously estimated Walsh’s annual advertiser revenue to be as high as $1.6 million per year. Now, following his return from demonetization, he could still be making as much as $1.4 million a year for sharing content that last year earned him the title of Transphobe of the Year. This kind of content fuels dangerous real world actions: a San Bernardino mother of 9 was shot in August defending the Pride flag in front of her store. The shooter had previously shared Walsh’s call to boycott Target and had pinned an image of a burning Pride flag to the top of his account on X.
In a statement to Media Matters confirming the initial demonetization, a spokesperson for YouTube wrote, “We suspended monetization on Matt Walsh’s channel due to repeated violations of our YouTube Partner Program policies, which include our Advertiser-Friendly Guidelines. These policies apply equally to all creators, regardless of political viewpoint, and channels that repeatedly violate these policies are demonetized." YouTube’s hate speech policy prohibits content that “promotes violence or hatred against individuals or groups” based on, among other protected categories, “gender identity and expression” and/or “sexual orientation.” Walsh repeatedly violated those policies during his suspension, and YouTube is rewarding him with cash by the truck load.