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(L-R) Harper Steele and Will Ferrell attend the 'Will & Harper' Premiere during the 2024 Sundance Film Festival at Eccles Center Theatre on January 22, 2024, in Park City, UtahPhoto by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images

(LifeSiteNews) — Last year, I wrote an analysis of Hollywood’s campaign to make transgenderism mainstream for The American Conservative, noting that big-name actors were starring in and producing dramas, romantic comedies, children’s entertainment, and documentaries focused on transgender storylines. Much of this storytelling, I noted, was clever, potent propaganda – likely to be effective. 

Now, famed comedy actor Will Ferrell is leveraging his star power on behalf of the transgender movement in a documentary titled Will & Harper, which recently premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. The documentary is just under two hours, but over 200 hours was shot, and it features a road trip with Ferrell and his longtime friend Harper Steele. The two met at Saturday Night Live. 

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Steele came out to his friends as transgender in 2022, sending an email titled “Here’s a Weird One” in which he announced that he was transitioning to become a woman. Ferrell told an audience at Variety Studio that “we were all of course excited to hear the news and surprised to hear the news. All of us were extremely supportive and expressed love… but that sort of opened up the questions like, ‘How can we help you? What do you need us to do?’” 

At the time, Ferrell said, he had “zero knowledge” about the transgender community. “I had met trans people, but I didn’t have anyone personally in my life,” Ferrell said. “So this was all new territory for me, which is why I think this film is so exciting for us to kind of put out there in the world. It’s a chance for all of us in the cis community to be able to ask questions and also just to listen and be there as a friend to discuss this journey.” 

Thus, the documentary. 

The official description for the film reads: “When Will Ferrell finds out his close friend of 30 years is coming out as a trans woman, the two decide to embark on a cross-country road trip to process this new stage of their relationship in an intimate portrait of friendship, transition, and America.” 

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Ferrell is up front about the purpose of the documentary. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, he explained that he told Steele “this could, I think, be just a wonderful way for us to explore this topic, obviously for me to learn, ask all the questions that I have about what you’re going through and who you are, have you changed… maybe it would be something that people would watch and it would give them a different perspective.” Steele added: “It tells the story of a cis friend of a trans person who has to transition himself.” 

That, of course, is what Ferrell and Steele hope this film will doassist in the further transitioning of society by “breaking the binary” and normalizing the phenomenon of men identifying as women and vice versa. It is easy to laugh this stuff off as yet another celebrity endorsing something radical, but that would be to ignore the influence that films and documentaries actually wield. 

People generally do not think ideologically or scientifically, despite all claims to the contrarythey think in terms of stories. Hollywood understands this; the LGBT movement very much understands this. That is precisely why their partnership has been so fruitful, and why films like this have such an impact. 

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Jonathon Van Maren is a public speaker, writer, and pro-life activist. His commentary has been translated into more than eight languages and published widely online as well as print newspapers such as the Jewish Independent, the National Post, the Hamilton Spectator and others. He has received an award for combating anti-Semitism in print from the Jewish organization B’nai Brith. His commentary has been featured on CTV Primetime, Global News, EWTN, and the CBC as well as dozens of radio stations and news outlets in Canada and the United States.

He speaks on a wide variety of cultural topics across North America at universities, high schools, churches, and other functions. Some of these topics include abortion, pornography, the Sexual Revolution, and euthanasia. Jonathon holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in history from Simon Fraser University, and is the communications director for the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform.

Jonathon’s first book, The Culture War, was released in 2016.