WillySmacknTush at the scene of the crime (reading a book)
WillySmacknTush at the scene of the crime (reading a book)

BooksJune 27, 2024

Revealed: The shocking drag storytime event Brian Tamaki didn’t want you to see 

WillySmacknTush at the scene of the crime (reading a book)
WillySmacknTush at the scene of the crime (reading a book)

The Spinoff goes inside the controversial event deemed too dangerous for the New Zealand public.

Brian Tamaki was too scared to watch WillySmacknTush’s drag king storytime, but I was not. The latest target in Destiny Church’s campaign against rainbow events and road markings across Aotearoa, Tamaki and Destiny Church members have compared the drag storytime events to “the wolf dressed as granny waiting for [Little] Red Riding Hood”, labelling it “foul predator behaviour” and “targeting our innocent kids with their filth”. Others have posited it might just be a person dressed in sparkly clothes reading a book.

After 100 Destiny supporters protested a drag event at Gisborne library, another drag event at the Upper Hutt library has been forced to cancel this week following threats made by Tamaki. “If the mayor and his councillors do not shut this event down, I have instructed our Destiny Church members and ManUp men to shut it down,” he said of the event, where a person dressed in sparkly clothes reads a book. The news also comes as Tamaki faces defamation action from Haus of Flash, who were forced to cancel a nationwide tour after similar protest action.

What Tamaki describes is an event too shocking, too dangerous, too adult in nature for local councils and boards to allow it happen in public. He denotes a story time session (fun, friendly, educational) as having the potential to cause real harm to children, purely because of the people reading the book. “The over-promotion and protection of this perversion is not right,” he said in April. “We want officials to defund and remove drag queens’ story times from our schools and our libraries.”

But what actually happens at these controversial drag storytimes?

Today, WillySmacknTush still donned sparkly clothes and still read a book, refusing to be swayed by cancel culture by hosting the event online instead. The Spinoff went undercover (clicked the livestream link) to bring you the gory, salacious details of this event considered too dangerous for the New Zealand public.

Here are the most shocking and offensive moments from Thursday’s drag king story time.

1) Teddy bear wearing crown

I think we can all agree that this dangerous symbolism is an affront to the monarchy. 

2) Pale pink dinosaur

I think we can all agree that this dangerous symbolism is an affront to science. 

3) Coded language 

“Kia ora koutou, ko Willy ahau,” Willy SmacknTush said, rudely exposing children to a second national language without their consent. I suspect that Willy SmacknTush isn’t even his real name. 

4) Phishing scam

“My name’s Willy, I’m a drag king and I love dressing up,” said Willy. “What’s your names?” On the count of three, he then demanded that we all tell him our names. Straight into the microphone? Of Zuckerberg’s Meta? Not falling for that one. 

5) Swear words

The first book Willy read out involved a child splashing about in the ocean, and repeatedly exclaiming “oh, golly oh gee”. Extremely blasphemous and extremely offensive. Don’t even get me started on the pussybow blouse he was wearing. 

6) Toxic comments

For further confirmation that this event was hellbent on exploiting the innocence of our children, the comments section confirmed just how much harm was being caused. “Two rapt little boys here,” wrote one outraged viewer. “Twins are having the best time listening to this fabulousness,” added another aggrieved parent. “I really hope kids get to enjoy your story time in person in the future,” spat an incensed critic. 

7) Inappropriate content

If you thought the young girl blaspheming in the sea was bad, I was shocked to hear the harrowing tell-all memoir of Fred, a small fairy who made gowns, beautiful gowns. Irresponsibly, there was no mention at all of his employment rights or working conditions. And how about this dystopian vision from ‘Grandad’s Pride’?! “Pride is like a giant party, where we celebrate the wonderful diversity of our communities and share the message that everyone should be treated with equality and respect.” Oh golly, oh gee, rest assured that my teddy bear king WILL be hearing about this. 

8) Flagrant littering

To top it all off, Willy ended the session with this hateful diatribe. “I hope you’ve all had a lovely time reading with us today and hopefully you’ve found new books to add to your favourites.” To add insult to injury, he then blew sparkly silver glitter towards the camera. Toxic and harmful – that’s going to take ages to clean up. 

Keep going!