“Never go in the dressing room when Knowles is in there,” said Ben Shapiro in a bizarre attempt at a humorous video greeting Candace Owens on her first day at the Daily Wire in 2021. “Keep your back to the wall,” echoed Andrew Klavan. “That guy’s an animal.”
“We all know it,” said Klavan, “It’s one of those secrets, it’s like Matt Lauer.”
Lauer was terminated by his longtime employer, NBC News, in 2017 after a series of troubling allegations of sexual misconduct, including one of his coworkers claiming that he assaulted her in a hotel room while covering the Sochi Olympic games, and another who said that he locked his office from the inside before initiating sexual contact. In a secret 2008 “roast” of Lauer, his colleagues made multiple jokes about his alleged sexual behavior in the office, with one media executive telling Glamour: “You had Katie Couric, Meredith Vieira, and Jeff Zucker all standing up there joking about his sex in the office, his kinkiness.”
The Daily Wire had publicly been a boys club before Owens joined the team. In one video posted to YouTube, the four male Daily Wire personalities joked about their inability to do laundry.
In another segment, Matt Walsh argued that women were not meant to understand football.
Anonymous Daily Wire employees also describe a climate of job insecurity that could easily make complaints about uncomfortable humor feel unwise. Glassdoor reviews cite an “incredibly toxic work environment” where it is “extremely clear” that “you can be fired at any minute” and “you’re easily replaceable” in a “constant revolving door of employees.
Michael Knowles made headlines recently with a public call to “eradicate ‘transgenderism’ from public life entirely. Knowles threatened legal action against several media outlets for conflating his call to eliminate “transgenderism” with the elimination of trans people, but recently endorsed banning lifesaving gender affirming care for trans people of all ages and called for preventing trans people from appearing in public “to protect the children, certainly, but to protect everybody. We have a right to stand up against obscenity.”
In another recent speech at the University of Buffalo, he also attacked gay marriage, feminism, and the sexual revolution.
The Daily Wire and its shows remain available on the Apple App store, Google Play store, Apple podcasts, YouTube, and Spotify despite repeated violations of the hate speech policies of each platform.