Tucker Carlson’s new documentary on testosterone levels mocked for ‘homoeroticism’ and ‘testicle tanning’ segment

·5 min read

A new trailer for Tucker Carlson’s documentary series began circulating online over the weekend, and with it came a wave of mockery from the Fox News host’s critics who panned an episode which focuses on declining testosterone levels in men as being “homoerotic”.

In the teaser for the episode “The End of Men”, which has now received more than 6.6 million views on Twitter, Nikki McCann Ramirez, an associate research director at Media Matters, shares the video clip alongside the caption, “I promise you are not prepared for Tucker’s latest montage”.

The 49-second clip showcases a montage of shirtless men wrestling, chopping wood, drinking beer, shooting guns and even a shot that includes a fully nude man standing in what appears to be a field with his arms outstretched in a style evocative of Leonardo Da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man but whose genitals remain strategically covered by what some online commentators joked was a Tesla charging station.

And as all these images are diced into the clip, a voice begins to narrate, “Once a society collapses then, you’re in hard times,” while the heart-pumping musical theme most commonly associated with 1968’s 2001: A Space Odyssey begins to reach a crescendo.

“Well, hard iron sharpens iron as they say, and those hard times inevitably produce men who are tough, men who are resourceful, men who are strong enough to survive,” the narrator’s voice continues. “They go on to re-establish order, and so the cycle begins again.”

The content of the episode, which is part of the Fox host’s second season of the documentary series, was described by Carlson in a separate promo as addressing “one of the biggest stories of our lifetimes … the total collapse of testosterone levels in American men”.

“We think it is a huge deal. So we want to know what’s causing it and what you can do about it,” he said.

One of the purported suggestions that the Fox News host included in this documentary episode, which has separately been mocked by rivals online, is a segment in which he interviews a fitness professional who advocates for “testicle tanning”, in which the full body is treated with “red light therapy” to allegedly raise testosterone levels.

“So obviously, half the viewers are now like, what? Testicle tanning? That’s crazy,” Carlson interjects after Andrew McGovern, the interviewee, explains the controversial therapy. “But my view is, okay, testosterone levels [have crashed] and nobody says anything about it. That’s crazy. So why is it crazy to seek solutions?”

Republican Representative Adam Kinzinger, a frequent critic of the Fox News host who last month declared he would never appear on his program after describing it as being “full of Russian propaganda and not news”, saw the clip as an opportunity to again take Carlson to task over his pro-Putin sentiments.

“This is actually real. Evidently, he likes men without shirts, which may explain the Putin obsession,” the Illinois Republican wrote Sunday.

Others used the steamy video with what they viewed as being homoerotic in nature as an opportunity to call out recent laws passed in right-leaning states, namely Florida’s so-called “Don’t Say Gay” bill, which prohibits the discussion of sexual orientation or gender identity in the classroom for primary grade levels.

“Tucker would get arrested if he showed this video in a Florida classroom,” wrote The Daily Beast writer Justin Baragona.

Star Trek actor George Takei, who is among some of the celebrities who have spoken out against Florida’s controversial Parents Rights in Education bill, which was signed into law on 28 March, commented on the viral teaser, captioning his response with a short and simple: “This is so gay.”

Red light therapy (RLT) has been reported to help in treating wrinkles, redness, acne scars and other signs of ageing, said the Cleveland Clinic, a non-profit academic medical centre that is considered a leader in research, education and health information.

But the experts the centre spoke with were cautious about the promises that have been made in preliminary studies, noting that they “don’t know yet if RLT is effective for all its claimed uses”.

“Most [experts] say that the studies published so far show some potential for certain conditions, but that more studies need to be conducted. Red light therapy is still an emerging treatment that’s generating growing interest. But at this point in time, there’s not enough evidence to support most uses,” the clinic concluded.