“Take the red pill”, wrote Elon Musk on Twitter yesterday, along with a red rose emoji. Ivanka Trump, US president Donald Trump’s daughter, quote-tweeted Musk, adding her own comment: “Taken!”
In The Matrix, Neo takes the “red pill”, which opens his eyes to the truth of the world he lives in (the “blue pill” is to continue living in a state of ignorance). The term “red pill” has since been apporpriated by right wingers, particularly men’s rights activists and the alt-right.
Musk and Trump’s exchange prompted Lilly Wachowski to respond: “Fuck both of you”. Wachowski later shared a link to the Brave Space Alliance, a Chicago-based LGBTQ+ support centre led by black and trans people.
But what prompted Musk’s comment in the first place? The billionaire has recently been pivoting towards the MAGA crowd, particularly regarding coronavirus. He has been threatening to restart his Tesla factories in California, despite the state shutdown, describing the closures as a “fascist” decision.
A fourth entry in The Matrix franchise is currently underway, directed by Lilly Wachowski’s sister Lana, although production was put on hold due to the pandemic.