Lady Ballers: The White Christian Nationalist comedy about the transgender menace we’ve all been waiting for

The Lady Ballers team leading the tiki torch march at the Unite The Right Charlottesville incident.

The Daily Wire's new anti-transgender movie offers a panoramic view into the White Christian Nationalist ideology underpinning their media empire and the broader MAGA movement.

Submitted by Comrade Motopu on December 25, 2023

On his 1974 live LP, “That N******’s Crazy,” Richard Pryor had a disturbingly hilarious routine about how the cops treat Black people and how white people seem totally unaware of it:

“Cops put a hurtin’ on your ass, man! You know, they really degrade you. White folks don’t believe cops degrade you.
[Ridiculous white guy voice] “Oh come on! Those beatings? Those people were resisting arrest! I’m tired of this harassment of police officers!”

50 years later, The Daily Wire co-CEO Jeremy Boreing made that ridiculous white guy the protagonist of his movie “Lady ballers.” He’s also the star of the film.

Not satisfied with merely promulgating virulent white nationalism and anti-lgbtqi+ hate speech through podcasts on their paid subscriber site, the Daily Wire started a television and film production studio in 2019. They create “comedies and dramas that take you seriously, and that don’t take advantage of your viewership to promote Leftist causes.” They even have a children’s streaming network called “Bentkey” to compete with the nefarious woke brainwashing of Disney.

Important issues on the top page of the Daily Wire site include threatening Black lady intellectuals, evil left wing media, corrupt unions that need to be crushed, complaints that fat people have it too good, and your hard earned tax dollars going to pay for abortions.

The objective is to create a safe space for bigots while simultaneously triggering liberals. Their film “Lady Ballers” is underwhelming, dull and mostly unfunny, with a few good physical comedy performances. Every scene has a laundry list of MAGA political talking points crammed into it making the viewer feel they should be taking notes for a quiz at the end. Now THAT’s comedy!

Lady Ballers’ war on nothing

The basic premise of the film is that “normal people” are under constant assault from the forces of wokeness. The main culture war focus here is the alleged threat of trans athletes to women’s sports. In reaction, a team of middle aged ex-high school cis male athletes decide to put on bras and wigs to compete in women’s sports and qualify for a spot in something called “the Global Games.”

They've all been horribly cancelled

This has never happened anywhere on planet earth. Transgender participation in men’s or women’s sports competitions is heavily regulated using biological criteria. Both the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the International Olympic Committee (IOC), for example have strict rules regulating trans athletes based on everything from confirmed gender status, testosterone levels, hormone treatments, and more, all of which are closely monitored. There are different criteria in different leagues, institutions, and levels (high school, college, amateur, professional, different states in the US) etc. but there is no case in which cis-gender “biological males” have competed in women’s sports. It’s a non-issue, hence not a great mining ground for political satire.

I should be clear though. That there are strict guidelines and laws governing trans athletes participation is not to say those laws are inherently fair or good. They are often contested by trans people and others as discriminatory. I’m not sufficiently knowledgable to write about the nuances of those regulations and so I bring them up only to show that Jeremy Boreing’s film addresses a red herring. He wants us to think that women’s sports is in danger of being colonized by men. It’s not.

“This is just a comedy. Why are you expecting reality?” someone might ask. Because the entire film is presented in a didactic fashion as if it is addressing real world problems through humor. Writer, director, star Jeremy Boreing insists this movie is about a very real problem:

Jeremy Boreing is a White Christian Nationalist

Boreing is an extremely dull guy and barely passable leading man, but perfectly cast for the film he wrote, directed, and starred in. He obviously sees himself as a fount of deep social insights. Before we even get into his deeply deceitful movie here’s him on pro-fascist, pro-MAGA podcaster sensation Tim Pool’s show talking about why internet anonymity weakens the fight for Right wing values:

JEREMY BOREING (DAILY WIRE CO-CEO): Here's the problem. The problem is that anonymity on the internet allows for the ghettoizing of beliefs that are not approved by the regime. So, a lot of people will say, well, I have to be anonymous on the internet because if my boss finds out that I've got these views, they'll fire me. But you're only in the position where your boss could fire you for finding out about those views because you've allowed those views to be completely ghettoized through anonymity online. If 5 million people came out today and said the N-word -- not recommending it -- but no one would ever get fired for saying the N-word again.
TIM POOL (HOST): Yeah, they wouldn't be able to.

BOREING: You wouldn't be able to. You would have brought that to a -- you would have brought that to a conclusion. That little absurdity in our culture would be brought to an end. The ghettoizing of our beliefs allows for the punishment of anyone who steps outside of the ghetto.

Boreing seems to be calling for fellow racists to come out of their closets. Personally I think he should start openly using the N-word because the viral videos of people reacting to him in public might produce some of the first truly funny work he’s ever done.

Have you punched your Nazi today?

Boreing’s anti-trans agenda in Lady Ballers fits with the same old White Christian Nationalist agenda that has existed in many ways since the creation of the United States, but especially with the Antebellum Christianity of the southern US. Those southern states defeated Reconstruction and created a narrative known as The Lost Cause, in which the Confederacy was acting on the principles of honor and decency, and in which slavery was a benevolent institution. Boreing’s entire infotainment empire is designed to reinforce these values, updated given what is possible in the present day. The Daily Wire bought the right wing anti-woke “PragerU” corporation to expand its “educational” outreach. Both Daily Wire and PragerU presenters have got in hot water over either diminishing the horrors of or outright extolling the benefits of slavery for the victims.

Preparing For War

In his book Preparing for War: The Extremist History of White Christian Nationalism--and What Comes Next Bradley Onishi outlines the way the modern Christian Right in the United States was formed around a white nationalist agenda.

It was the issue of tax exempt status for religious schools that became a flash point motivating the formation of what would become “The Moral Majority.” After the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education ruling, which mandated the desegregation of public schools, racist conservatives scrambled to create more private institutions in the form of religious schools. They could turn away students of color to defend what was basically a massive white flight from what they saw as a threat of miscegenation and the dilution of white culture.

Under President Richard Nixon, these private religious schools started to be held to account and their tax exempt status challenged unless they desegregated. President Jimmy Carter accelerated the auditing process which lit a fire under Jerry Falwell and others to attack his presidency and throw their support to Ronald Reagan. Though Carter was a Southern evangelical Christian and a Sunday school teacher, his social and political views did not align with Christian White Nationalism enough to satisfy the newly emerging political coalition being built around it.

How can we make evangelicalism more cruel?

It was at this time that the far Right began framing their own racist beliefs in terms of the government attacking “family values” and the rights of parents to control their children’s educations. In Lady Ballers, this is the “war against family values” that Jeremy Boreing wants us to think he’s rebelling against.

Onishi outlines the whole package of gendered, racial, patriarchal hierarchy as the basis for present day “family values” rhetoric. “It goes back to before the 1860s, when White southern evangelicals claimed that enslaved people were part of the family, the family was ordained by God, and thus to usurp its structure would be to go against God’s plan for humankind.” Slaves were part of the family, at the bottom of the racialized and gendered hierarchy.

Patriarchal masters were God’s earthly surrogates for their biological children, and Black people—who they believed could never become more than grown children—they “benevolently” provided for and guided. In a popular tract in 1857, Presbyterian minister Frederick Ross proclaimed slavery “ordained of God” and traced the authority structure of the patriarchal and racially ordered family all the way back to the book of Genesis. Just as it was good for women and children to submit to the male head of house as a wise and divine household figure, Ross’s tract outlined, it was good for slaves to submit to their masters. In this model, freedom came through surrender to God-ordained authorities. For Black people, this meant accepting the headship of the White master as part of God’s design. God the Father was embodied in their White father-figure.
[Onishi, Preparing For War. ebook Ch. 4 Par 18]

Lady Ballers’ White Nationalist Checklist

Boreing plays Coach Rob Gibson, bland, world-weary, and seemingly always upset about something. By the end of the film we understand that his constant disappointment with everyone around him stems from the fact that they refuse to uphold the family values of the old Confederate South. If you don’t have a Christian, white, cis-male, USA centered hierarchy, the world is going to hell.

The movie’s opening scene is a high school basket ball game taking place in 2008. “You’re playing like a bunch of ladies out there!” These are Coach Gibson’s first words in the film. At half time he gives his team a pep-talk and turns the tide to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat and win the state championship.

Fear of “Black Criminality”

Fast forward to Gibson talking to a bunch of present day teen boys sitting on the gym benches looking at their phones and ignoring every word he says. He’s lecturing them on what it takes to be a man. He can’t reach them and one student in particular challenges him and seems to set the tone for them all. The student is Black. As they all leave for the day Gibson asks them not to steal his car’s catalytic converter again, and the Black student tells him “you can’t talk to us like that,” physically pushing him as he leaves. In the process something falls out of the student’s bag. “Hey buddy you dropped your cordless reciprocating saw.” The Black student is the seasoned thief who influences all the others.

Public school teachers, Covidiots, and women without make-up

Gibson then picks up his daughter from her elementary school. A teacher is there to scold him for being late again. He tells her he can’t hear her because of her “obedience trap” by which he means a face mask. She removes all four of her Covid masks one at a time, each with a “woke slogan.” Gibson can finally hear her but tells her to wear more make-up.

Now his daughter tells him about how her fellow student friend showed her “her penis” and of course it was in the girl’s bathroom. Gibson has to correct her but the daughter, who seems very sweet inclusive-minded and tolerant instead schools her dad about gender identity.

Communism, and the Woke Mind Virus

She also tells him about a lesson on the role of capitalism in fueling the Cold War and Gibson rolls his eyes knowingly “but which side did people run to when the Berlin Wall came down?” he asks in a typical right wing “gotcha.” That’s all that needs saying on the subject. The side that’s accumulated more wealth is historically in the right.

He wraps up the conversation with his daughter by telling her he guesses they can put her in a private school. “Private schools reinforce white patriarchal privilege” she fires back, in what’s supposed to sound like an incredibly delusional quip. Sadly it’s historically accurate for many of them.

Der Lügenpresse

“She's a journalist. You can't believe anything she says.” In Lady Ballers, journalist Gwen Wilde eggs on Coach Gibson to keep pursuing the Global Games even as he struggles with guilt over how his team is humiliating female athletes. In her pursuit of a Pulitzer she instructs the team to keep insisting they are women even though she says she knows they’re not. When Gibson and a player initially try to protest her calling them on this she replies “Save it. I’m a journalist. I literally cannot be shamed.” Throughout the film she keeps manufacturing the trans athlete story to further her own career.

She sexually manipulates coach Gibson to keep him under control. In one scene she pins Coach Gibson to a locker and says “Put a baby in me” but when he is repulsed, she says “No, you’re right. The last thing I need is another abortion this year.” What could be worse than an independent, pro-choice woman and member of the liberal media elite?

Her support for trans athletes is a ruse. Toward the end of the film, Wilde realizes she has to fully whip coach Gibson to keep him on task to get to the Global Games. “I stake my entire future on this! These transhumanist tech-oligarchs and nihilist college professors have already convinced every self-righteous housewife with Munchhausen by proxy to sacrifice their kids on the alter of false virtue. The least we could do is get rich off it!”

The viewer can see how physically hard it is for her to fit this many pop-psychology memes and anti-woke talking points into one string of dialogue. This is the right wing take on what the Nazis called “the Lügenpresse” (lying press). Media critique is important, and this isn’t it.

The Bell Curve takes to the Court

When the final round of playoffs to get to the Global Games comes, Gibson has let his evil reporter girl friend know he’s going to throw the game. She throws her support to the opposing women’s team, the Cowgirls, and substitutes all their players with men. One important fact: they are all Black men. This final betrayal of the game has brought the Black menace into the white utopia coach Gibson had opportunistically tampered with. To bring home the sexual threat of rape and miscegenation this signifies, in a scuffle between the teams, one of the Lady Ballers pulls down the shorts of a Cowgirl player as the entire stadium gasps in shock. A man in the crowd (played by Daily Wire talk show host Andrew Klavan) cries out “That’s the biggest dick I’ve ever seen on a lady!”
I wonder why Jeremy Boreing made them all Black?

The host of white supremacist insinuations is mind boggling. These are the Black men of Charles Murray’s Bell Curve. They embody their place in his eugenic hierarchies of race, physiognomy, and intelligence. Athletic, low IQ, crime prone, as we’ve seen in the previous scenes, with large penises. This is the “final boss” of consequences for going against “family values.”

Matt Walsh’s Wish Fulfillment

Matt Walsh is the most high profile transphobe involved with this hateful film. His previous hit on the reactionary right wing circuit was “What is a Woman?” That film has been criticized for the way Walsh lured gender studies professors, therapists, and other experts under false pretenses only to sandbag them with a weirdly reductionist demand that they tell him “what is a woman?” in a way that he could understand and manipulate politically. When the guests realize that not only were they duped into the interview, but that Walsh is extremely hostile, angry, and incapable of having an adult discussion on the subject, they are left to deal with the confrontation without having prepared for the actual situation. Trying to teach a transphobe about the complexity of human sexual biology and gender identity is of course an impossible task. This angry, hostile, bullying Matt Walsh is the one we all know.

Which is why I was disarmed by the Matt Walsh I saw in Lady Ballers. Here, Walsh gets to do “comedy” and play what is supposed to be a flaky, dumb, delusional hippie we’re all supposed to hate. The problem is that what we get in “Kris Dilby,” is a somewhat naive, but mostly friendly, kind, accepting, inclusive, loving, supportive, and positive guy who wants to lift everyone around him up, celebrate them, and even give them a hug. He’s everything Matt Walsh will never be. He’s in no way threatened by Coach Gibson’s seething hatred and resentment that Dilby is living with his wife, who seems happy, relaxed, and on board with it all.

Real Life Matt Walsh is a drag compared to cool hippie Matt Walsh

While there are reasons to critique the hell out of flaky liberals, for everything from the new aged anti-vaxxer conspiracies many of them support to the generally bourgeois individualist neoliberal approaches to social reform, Boreing’s main gripe with them seems to be that they care about other people and the community.

The same goes for Coach Gibson’s “brain-washed” daughter. She is totally at ease with trans kids, critiques of capitalism, with her public school, and she likes her teachers. She seems well adjusted and happy compared to her asshole dad who’s main crusade is to expose a non-existent transgender conspiracy to destroy society by proving that trans people don’t really even exist. Gibson gives one of his players who has come to realize she’s a woman a speech about how she can’t exist, that she’s just confused. Trans people’s very existence must be denied and eradicated, in the most compassionate way for their own good.

Coach Gibson: The Inverted 70s Anti-Establishment Hero

I sometimes ask myself why right wingers create these characters who are bootlicking conformist authoritarians that we’re supposed to see as rebels. It’s very “conservatism is the new punk rock!”

I see a line from some of the slacker comedy anti-establishment protagonists of the late 1970s to Boreing’s Coach Gibson. Gibson is an inversion of Bill Murray’s camp counsellor character “Tripper” from the 1979 comedy “Meatballs.” That film came out the year Boreing was born. Tripper aims to undermine authority figures and expose the absurdity of macho expectations of the rival camp Mohawk’s jock culture. He also riles up a healthy rejection of Mohawk’s private school narrative that they are inherently superior to the working class losers of camp North Star. Everything is a joke to Tripper because he knows he can’t win on “the man’s” terms.

John Belushi’s “Bluto” character in the 1978 film “Animal House” took on the twisted and uptight college establishment, personified by the blue blooded administration and their precious male specimens in the fascistic ROTC program. The rebels in these two examples are more into hedonistic individualism than any kind of left or radical politics. Still, the appeal to human dignity in Tripper’s “It just doesn’t matter” speech puts to shame Coach Gibson’s “Winners are just losers who win” statement, with it’s desperate appeal to uphold bigotry allegedly for the sake of women.

The frat boy and slacker anti-heroes of Meatballs and Animal House are the progenitors of the rebel archetype Coach Gibson in Lady Ballers embodies. In the left leaning post-sixties rebel comedies there were also strong elements of sexism and a focus on the white guy leader saving the day. For example, there is a scene in which Tripper sexually assaults his crush but portrays it as a playful wrestling match as his victim screams for him to stop. This is (and should have been back then) not funny to put it mildly. At their core, the flawed rebels of these earlier comedies were about resisting the system’s demands. They didn’t want to volunteer for outdated anti-communist crusades or help uphold oppressive square society’s norms at the expense of their outsider friends.

Coach Gibson, and most right wing comedy is the heir to an inverted version of those anti-establishment rebels.

That late 70s “post-hippie” provided a lot of the ethos of the punk and New Wave attitude that saw 1960s countercultural movements (or shallow portrayals of them) consisting of out of touch, if well intentioned, dreamers and snowflakes. Stiv Bator’s of the Dead Boys famously screamed “Gonna beat up the next hippie I see!” With time we can see the rage against the coopted and sold out version of the hippie dream carried what would later devolve into plain vanilla reactionary conservatism for some of those punks. Ironic swastika arm bands gave way to actual Nazi punks that had to be battled by progressive and radical punks. Today we are left with John Lydon’s embrace of MAGA, Nick Cave’s dumb elder goth pontificating about how antifa and fascists are just two sides of the same coin along with his weird love for fascist gateway pundit Andrew Sullivan, and Morrissey’s “For Britain” xenophobic white nationalism, among other remnants in the punk and post punk graveyard.

It was the hippie bashing aspect of the late 70s that comedians like Dennis Miller picked up and ran with, stripping away all but the window dressing aspects of rebellion. Miller could maintain his grab bag of (often obscure) sub and pop cultural references (smirkingly referencing “Mick and Keef”) even when he eventually interviewed war criminal Dick Cheney. Miller lamented how some crazy leftists saw Cheney as a “bad guy” or even “Darth Vader.” He was far worse than either of those things. Today’s Daily Wire owes every ounce of it’s shriveled comedic soul to that branch of the hippie bashing tree.

We see you

The transparent and tiresome antics of the right wingers attempting comedy are doomed to be unfunny because they ask us to laugh with cruelty instead of at it. It opens up a back door to their deepest social fears snd broader White Christian Nationalist world view.

One of the best critiques of the current wave of awful, transphobic, traditionalist, anti-woke stand up comedy I’ve seen recently is “An Evening with Tim Heidecker.” It’s a send up of the Jim Bruer, Dave Chappelle, Rob Schneider, Ricky Gervais, and Dennis Miller types who are cancelled into having multiple Netflix specials, tv series or syndicated radio shows.

Tim Heidecker's right wing comedian character "Tim Heidecker."

Comrade Motopu, 12/24/2023