The South-African entrepreneur and head of SpaceX and Tesla, Elon Musk, has created waves recently in the media – and for nothing good.

In the latest twitter scandal, Musk took to his social media platform of choice to simply tweet “take the red pill.” For those who know, the reference originates from the 1999 science fiction film The Matrix, in which the main character must make a choice between two pills: one leads to learn more about the Matrix or the other to return to “normalcy”.

However, the phrase has been co-opted by right-wingers to mean something a little different. The phrase gained popularity thanks to the subreddit called TheRedPill – an openly misogynistic and right-wing forum that seems to promote men’s rights.

“Welcome to The Red Pill, an Internet community on Reddit founded on the general belief that women have it better than men. Red Pill is not a dating advice bulletin, but rather a forum for people — men, mostly — exploring an ideology that revolves almost exclusively around gender,” – Business Insider.

The director of The Matrix, Lilly Wachowski, responded to Musk’s tweet:

Many have taken Musk’s tweet to mean a sort of political awakening. While Musk has described himself as moderate in the past, this could be seen as a transition to the Republicans – particularly after President Donald Trump supported the re-opening of Musk’s plant, despite lockdown measures. It also doesn’t help that Ivanka Trump, the President’s daughter and senior advisor, responded to the tweet with: “Taken!”

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Elon Musk has proven that he’s not one for following rules, and that sentiment seems to have grown stronger since the global crisis began. He recently called lockdown measures “fascist” and declared that he would be re-opening his Tesla plant in California and would even risk being arrested to do so. Musk even threatened to uproot his factory outside of California. However, lucky for him, the county’s health officer has signed off on restarting production as early as this week.

Musk regularly takes to Twitter and his 34 million followers to express his grievances, and the approach has landed him into trouble a fair few times. The US Securities and Exchange Commission have even sued the entrepreneur over a tweet. Earlier this month, Musk tweeted that Tesla stocks were too high – so naturally shares quickly dropped after that.

But outside of getting himself into trouble, Musk’s tweets teeter danger, which has become all too obvious in the light of coronavirus. Not only has Musk called the virus ‘dumb’ and suggested that kids are immune to it but also recommended a malaria drug as treatment despite no scientific evidence to corroborate it.

It’s safe to assume that Musk is a little bit of an oddball. The man hopes to establish a human colony in Mars and thinks that we may be living in a computer simulation. Even stranger, Musk recently welcomed a new child with Canadian artist Grimes, which they decided to name X Æ A-12. 

Regardless, his power is undeniable. Musk’s SpaceX company will take two astronauts to the International Space Station on May 27th – the first time a private company will send humans into orbit and the first time in nearly a decade that a crewed mission will depart from the US. So, he clearly has some bargaining power from people at the top.

Aisha Mohamed