Elon Musk took a brief break from running multiple companies mired in drama to create a little more drama by appearing onstage with Dave Chappelle during his show Sunday night at the Chase Center in San Francisco.
During Chappelle’s set, the controversial comedian introduced the controversial billionaire, who came onstage to confused applause and booing. Musk proceeded to bomb harder than the time he appeared on SNL.
Videos of his appearance immediately appeared on Twitter. One video, filmed by Twitter user CleoPat48937885, contains the majority of Musk’s appearance and quickly went viral. That Twitter account has since disappeared, with some Twitter users accusing Twitter and Musk of censorship. We’ve reached out to Twitter for comment.
We’ve embedded the video below.
Musk has been ruthlessly mocked for the appearance since it became public and, this morning, took to Twitter to joke about it. “Technically, it was 90% cheers & 10% boos,” he said in a tweet before suggesting the boos were because he’d “offended SF’s unhinged leftists.”
Which is probably an absurd thing to assume about the audience of a Dave Chappelle stand-up show in 2022. Look, Musk is a busy guy, so perhaps, maybe, possibly he could be forgiven for missing the controversy around Dave Chappelle, who has come under fire for repeatedly mocking queer people, specifically trans people, in his comedy sets. The two are friends, and one might have given the other covid once in 2021, and maybe all the controversy just never came up when they were hanging out with Grimes and Joe Rogan. But Chappelle is probably not the hero of the “unhinged leftists” populating San Francisco.
Last year, employees at Netflix walked out over the streaming company’s decision to air a Chappelle special containing transphobic remarks. At least three trans Netflix employees were suspended in relation to the protest. Two of those employees later resigned, and the third, B. Pagels-Minor, was fired after Netflix claimed they leaked confidential information. Pagels-Minor denied the claim. Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos made it very clear that he would allow Chappelle’s specials to appear on Netflix as he felt they did not contain hate speech but did provide financial value for the company. His co-CEO, Reed Hastings, reinforced this sentiment in November of this year when he appeared at The New York Times’ DealBook Summit and said he would order Chappelle’s comedy specials “again and again.”
I can see how Elon might have missed all of this. Again, he’s busy! But his appearance on stage with Chappelle, a noted engager of transphobia, occurred just hours after Musk tweeted that his pronouns were “Prosecute/Fauci,” which has the distinction of being a joke intended to play toward the covid-denying crowd and the transphobic crowd. When one Twitter user criticized Musk for his transphobic remarks attacking a civil servant, he quickly doubled down.
“Forcing your pronouns upon others when they didn’t ask, and implicitly ostracizing those who don’t, is neither good nor kind to anyone,” he said in a follow-up Tweet. He also claimed that Dr. Fauci personally oversaw the funding of research that “killed millions of people.” The latter half of that truly wild tweet relates to an extremely controversial interpretation of virology research that’s been adopted by the far right.
All of this rampant transphobia could just be a coincidence. Sort of like when you’re shopping for a car and then seem to see that car everywhere. But it should also be noted that Musk, who tweeted intensely transphobic comments yesterday before appearing onstage with a transphobic comedian, is currently estranged from his trans daughter.