One of the two creators of The Matrix movie franchise spoke out against Elon Musk and Ivanka Trump’s use of a popular catchphrasefrom the movies, “Take the red pill.”
On Monday, Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk tweeted out, as he is wont to do, the phrase that originatedin the 1999 science fiction movie. “Take the red pill,” wrote Musk, posting it with a rose emoji usually connected with the Democratic Socialists of America.
The term “red pill” has become synonymous with anti-social justice warriorscaught up in the culture war. It’s most often used to convey the rejection of the progressive narrative that has come to dominate the social media landscape. To be “red pilled” is to question the media — something Musk has been doing lately with his rejection of coronavirus lockdowns. As a largely conservative meme, the phrase epitomizes the reverse of the progressive concept of “wokeness.”
Although it is unknown if Musk understood the connotations of the red rose emoji, the post resonated far and wide. It garnered over 500,000 likes and 136,000 responses, prompting Ivanka Trump to quote-tweet Musk with the response: “Taken!”
Together, their tweets created a firestorm of controversy after Lilly Wachowski, one of the two siblings behind The Matrix, responded with the words, “F*ck both of you.”
Wachowski, who is well known for holding progressive and leftist views,didnot appear to appreciate the conservative movement’s coopting of the phrase.A popular theory suggests that “taking the red pill”refers to either wokeness or the rejection of the gender binary. Both the Wachowski siblings are transgender.
Others questioned whether Musk was being earnest in his calls to “take the red pill,”or if it was merely out of self-interest. His automotive business, Tesla, has been particularly affected by coronavirus shutdowns in California, where it was forced to suspend operations after being classed as a “nonessential” business.