After reportedly consulting The Babylon Bee before becoming the largest shareholder of Twitter, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said in a December interview that “wokeness … gives mean people a shield to be mean and cruel.”
“Wokeness basically wants to make comedy illegal,” Musk said. “Trying to shut down Chappelle, come on, man, that’s crazy. Do we want a humorless society that is simply rife with condemnation and hate basically? At its heart, wokeness is divisive, exclusionary, and hateful. It basically gives mean people a shield to be mean and cruel, armored in false virtue.”
Musk was referring to comedian Dave Chappelle, who came under fire for making jokes about transgenderism and his experience with transgender comedians. Many branded his jokes as transphobic.
Musk became the largest shareholder of Twitter Inc. on Monday, according to SEC filings. Musk has questioned in recent weeks Twitter’s free speech rules, polling Twitter users as to whether Twitter “rigorously adheres to” the principle of “free speech.” A majority of respondents said Twitter does not.
“Given that Twitter serves as the de facto public town square, failing to adhere to free speech principles fundamentally undermines democracy. What should be done?” Musk tweeted.
Musk “reached out to us before he polled his followers about Twitter’s commitment to free speech,” claimed Seth Dillon, the CEO of the Babylon Bee.
“He wanted to confirm that we had, in fact, been suspended. He even mused on the call that he might need to buy Twitter. Now he’s the largest shareholder and has a seat on the board.”
Musk reached out to us before he polled his followers about Twitter’s commitment to free speech. He wanted to confirm that we had, in fact, been suspended. He even mused on that call that he might need to buy Twitter. Now he’s the largest shareholder and has a seat on the board.
— Seth Dillon (@SethDillon) April 5, 2022
Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal announced Tuesday that Musk would serve on Twitter’s board. (RELATED: ‘Don’t Believe Facts Are Hate Speech’: Babylon Bee CEO Doubles Down On Rachel Levine Tweet)
The Babylon Bee was suspended from Twitter for violating rules against “hateful conduct” after posting a tweet March 15 stating that Dr. Rachel Levine was the Bee’s “man of the year.” Levine, a biological male, is President Joe Biden’s assistant secretary for health at the Department of Health and Human Services and was named one of USA Today’s “women of the year.”