While critics have applauded the book, it enraged transgender activists and their allies so much that Amazon employees held a forum dealing with the “trauma” caused by this children’s book. Video from the meeting was released by Libs of TikTok the same day the book hit the number one spot.
Now, Amazon has told Walsh they will not allow the publisher, DW Books, to run ads for the board book.
What’s the kerfuffle about?
From Acclaimed Children’s Author Matt Walsh (well, that’s what he called himself on his Twitter feed until he transitioned into Best Selling Biologist Matt Walsh), the colorful board book tells the story of a boy with a powerful imagination.
“One day he’s a dog, the next day a crustacean,” the book says. But things begin to go south for young Johnny when he waddles downstairs as a walrus one morning.
Pro-trans-walrus activists on social media encourage Johnny’s mom to stop being so “literally walrusphobic” and “let Johnny transition.” After all, “marine mammals are people too!”
Mom succumbs to social media pressure, and she and a “woke doctor” encourage Johnny to become the walrus he really is.
The reader will hasten to finish the story, eager to learn: Will Johnny go live with the pinnipeds? Does he have his feet surgically altered into flippers? Do his newly grown vibrissae become a permanent facial feature?
Spoiler alert: There is one level-headed adult character, looking suspiciously like Walsh – albeit with bulging forearms, who helps Johnny’s mom see reality.
The book has gotten rave reviews from several critics.
Ben Shapiro was very excited with the book, lauding it with profuse praise, saying, “I’ve read it more than once.”
Indeed. The discerning reader will want to read the book several times to ponder its nuance and comprehend its depth.
Fox News’ Tucker Carlson waxed exuberant, “I’ve actually read the book … and it’s hilarious,” while radio host Michael Knowles gushed, “… a very important piece of literature.”
Acclaimed Children’s Author Walsh, when he’s not cranking out bestselling board books, has a side job as a conservative political commentator, hosting The Matt Walsh Show for The Daily Wire.
When the book came out in December, Johnny the Walrus was number one on Amazon’s LGBT best sellers list. Walsh exulted on Twitter.
I now have the number one LGBT book in the country. Any further criticism of me or my book is now homophobic. Checkmate. pic.twitter.com/MP8VPZBEGx
— Best Selling Biologist Matt Walsh (@MattWalshBlog) December 5, 2021
The book was so successful that suppliers ran short, and it underwent a second printing. My copy just arrived, and I devoured the book in one sitting. Aside from Walsh’s scintillating, rhyming copy, the book has terrific illustrations by K. Reece.
But while most enjoyed the fun of Johnny’s walrus adventure, the book also received scathing criticism from the left, bringing some transgender activists and their allies to anger and tears.
Johnny the Walrus so enraged activists that Amazon told Walsh they would not allow the publisher, DW Books, to run ads for the children’s book.
Best Selling Biologist Matt Walsh tweeted out the message he received from Amazon:
Amazon has pulled all ads for Johnny The Walrus, claiming it's not "appropriate." They've also removed it from the children's category and labeled it political commentary. They can't take the book down because it doesn't violate their rules, so instead they'll pull these tricks. pic.twitter.com/bThYE3CDd9
— Best Selling Biologist Matt Walsh (@MattWalshBlog) April 27, 2022
Amazon did not explain what part of the ads for Johnny “contain elements that may not appropriate for all audiences.”
Coincidentally – or not – that message to Walsh came the same day Libs of TikTok revealed a video of Amazon employees discussing how to protect customers from Johnny’s message.
Amazon leadership held a session for employees dealing with the “trauma” of Matt Walsh’s book becoming a best seller and dealing with his trolling. They strategize on how to demote it on their site and claim he will get people killed. @MattWalshBlog broke them. pic.twitter.com/AKH8ihO0iV
— Libs of TikTok (@libsoftiktok) April 26, 2022
The video shows the Amazon moderator saying Johnny the Walrus had been recommended to some customers as an “LGBTQ+” book. He said this recommendation was “a very traumatic experience for transgender Amazonians and our transgender customers.”
He added, “Johnny the Walrus is a bit of a problematic book,” rephrasing that in a loud voice, “Not a bit! It is not a bit of a problem! It’s one helluva problem.”
The employee then plays a phone complaint from a customer who called to report the book. She said, “It is teaching kids to kill – well, to bully – transgenders. Yeah, to bully them into committing suicide, the LGBTQIA, especially transgenders.”
“The story is about a kid,” she continued, “who likes to pretend he’s different things. And one day he pretends he’s a walrus.”
So far, so good. That’s what the book is about. But she goes on, “And the community tells him he either has to be a human or he has to be a walrus. Or they’re going to kill him.”
Seriously. Did she read the 30-page board book? Did Amazon employees who participated in the meeting? It takes about five minutes.
The activist continued, “You are selling a manual, of how to teach kids to bully other kids to commit suicide.” She wanted the book stripped off the Amazon site.
She added that Walsh was bragging on Twitter about the book’s number one status and “that he’s glad it’s going to make the LGBTQIA kids, especially transgenders, commit suicide. He’s bragging about it on Twitter.”
Well, it was the number one LGBT book – until Amazon re-labeled it as “Humor” and “Political Commentary & Opinion” – now it’s number one in those categories. That does give Acclaimed Children’s Author Walsh some bragging rights.
But killing kids? Bullying kids? Bragging about making kids commit suicide?
That is a serious claim, without any backing from Walsh’s story or his Twitter feed. She’s either blatantly dishonest or delusional. No one at Amazon questioned her statements. They went along with this distortion.
In a second video, the Amazon employees, one of whom was transgender identified, discussed Best Selling Biologist Matt Wash’s upcoming book: What is a Woman?: One Man’s Journey to Answer the Question of a Generation.
The book won’t be out until June, but it’s already the number one best seller in biology and was number six in politics and government.
Amazon employees accused Walsh of “mansplaining” and “exploiting” Amazon’s systems. He asked, “Does a man even belong in this conversation? No. He doesn’t.”
The moderator grew emotional and said even discussing the topic of womanhood was “super triggering” and “hard” and said he would understand if people needed to leave the meeting.
More from the Amazon therapy session for trauma from Matt Walsh’s books: They accuse Matt of hate speech and the host literally breaks down in tears. Attendees are warned “brace yourself” before a clip of Matt reading his book is played. We are living in different realities. pic.twitter.com/naxlcG7RvD
— Libs of TikTok (@libsoftiktok) April 26, 2022
Amazon employees were told to “brace yourselves,” before being shown a clip of Walsh reading Johnny to a group of kids.
Watch that video here, and let us know what you think.
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Photo from Facebook.