If you didn’t know any better, you might think that Christian Walker, a 23-year-old who has nearly a million combined followers on TikTok, Twitter, and Instagram, was just another midlevel right-wing influencer, prone to front-facing camera diatribes about modern life. Or maybe you first heard of Walker this week when he denounced his father, Herschel Walker, the Republican former NFL star who is running against Democrat Raphael Warnock for one of Georgia’s Senate seats, after it broke that a former girlfriend of the candidate’s said he paid for her to get an abortion. Either way, the younger Walker has quickly become an unlikely supporting player in one of the most-watched election races in the country, if one whose sincerity is sometimes hard to measure. Here’s what to know about him.
Why is Christian Walker in the news?
After the Daily Beast reported that the “pro-life” Herschel Walker paid for a woman to abort a pregnancy that he and she conceived together in 2009, his son (with his ex-wife, Cindy DeAngelis Grossman) wrote on Twitter, “I know my mom and I would really appreciate if my father Herschel Walker stopped lying and making a mockery of us. You’re not a ‘family man’ when you left us to bang a bunch of women, threatened to kill us, and had us move over 6 times in 6 months running from your violence.”
Herschel Walker, who has supported a ban on abortion with no exceptions, even for rape, has denied the report. Christian Walker also said that he and other family members had urged Herschel Walker not to run for Senate, “because we all knew (some of) his past.”
He has since posted a pair of follow-up videos in which he has responded to those who have “attacked” him and questioned his “authenticity.”
Why would anyone question his authenticity?
There are a couple of reasons, but when it comes to this particular story, some critics have pointed out that, in December, he introduced his father at an early campaign event, posting a video of the two sharing a hug.
Until recently, he also sold T-shirts that expressed support for his father’s campaign, though the merch reportedly did not actually financially benefit his father’s campaign.
Hm! Can we go back for a minute? Isn’t there a whole thing with Herschel Walker and secret children?
Yes. The candidate has publicly acknowledged Christian as his son throughout his campaign, but it came out in the months leading up to the election that he had three more children that he had not been publicly discussing. This is especially notable because the elder Walker has made a point of railing against the problem of “fatherless” homes—coincidentally also an issue that Christian Walker has weighed in on in his TikToks, and now Christian is saying that he speaks from personal experience.
How long has Christian been an influencer, and what are his videos like?
Walker has been prominent on social media, particularly TikTok, since 2020 or so, when he was a student at the University of California, Los Angeles, focusing on a familiar range of right-friendly topics, from “cancel culture” to election fraud. He gained a following as an up-and-coming conservative pundit mostly independently of his father, though Herschel Walker being a former Heisman Trophy winner who is also well-connected in the MAGA-verse must have played some role. In his videos, which frequently take place in his car in the Starbucks parking lot, Walker often seems like he must be doing satire, such is the extent of the drama he brings to his rants.
What do you mean his videos play like satire?
For a good example, see a recent one that started, “There’s a big elephant in the room and I’m just gonna to say it: I’m pissed about who they chose for Little Mermaid.”
Walker has also had a podcast, called Uncancellable, since last year. Some episode titles include: “COMMUNISM IS GHETTO,” “ITS ILLEGAL TO POOP ON THE STREET,” and “IF YOU OPPOSE ELON MUSK, YOU’RE A RACIST.”
So he’s a troll?
You might say so. On Twitter, Washington Post reporter Taylor Lorenz summarized Walker as “basically a Gen Z Milo [Yiannopoulos],” referring to the alt-right provocateur who it might actually be generous to call a troll. Last year, New York magazine described Walker and his place among conservatives thusly: “Walker cuts a rare figure: a gay Black man in Cartier and Gucci who also happens to be a two-time world-champion competitive cheerleader with a six-pack and perfectly plucked eyebrows.”
Hasn’t he said he isn’t gay, though?
Yup, he has bristled at being called the “G-word,” and this is another place where it can be hard to gauge his level of sincerity. While he is explicitly interested in men and frequently posts TikToks expounding on this interest, he also frequently says things like, “Do not put the G-word on me. I do not want to be lumped in with rainbow flags. … Just because I’m attracted to men doesn’t make me a G-word-er.” He has elsewhere claimed to be interested in men but not dating them. Walker seems to know this is a ridiculous stance to hold and has even parodied it by using audio of him talking about the “G-word” to accompany video footage of him being very excited about the “muscle men” at the Super Bowl.
Is there a quick rundown of some of his greatest hits and antics over the years?
Glad you asked. Walker got into an entertaining fight with pop star Kehlani at his favorite place, Starbucks, over the summer. She apparently warned the employees that he was being an asshole and losing his shit over the store having rainbow flags, which he then confronted her about, claiming that she in fact was the asshole. She recognized that he was probably trying to get a reaction out of her to go viral, and it seemed to have worked. More recently, Walker used his experience of being raised in a “broken home” to excoriate a woman who claimed to be having an affair with Maroon 5’s Adam Levine, calling her a homewrecker. One of the first videos of his to receive widespread attention was from summer 2020, when he criticized Joe Biden’s statement that Black people who vote for Trump “ain’t Black.” That video is actually a good example of Walker’s tendency to occasionally make something resembling a good point, whether it’s about Biden’s presumptions about Blackness, the modern tendency to play the victim online, or his father’s hypocrisy. (Not about Kehlani, though—he was just being an asshole there.)
So even though he turned on his father, we shouldn’t welcome Christian Walker to the Resistance?
No, probably not.