Elon Musk joined Dave Chappelle on stage Sunday in San Francisco, home of Twitter’s headquarters where the world’s richest person recently laid off many of its employees. It went about as well as you’d expect.
The crowd at the Chase Center loudly booed Musk, who had spent much of the weekend wading into the culture wars, making transphobic statements and seemingly echoing QAnon tropes.
Video of the incident at Sunday’s Chappelle show captured by people in attendance shows the controversial Twitter owner taking the stage and yelling Chappelle’s famous Rick James impression: “I’m rich, b***h.” Afterward, Musk got loudly booed for several minutes.
The reaction prompted Chappelle, who has also been criticized for jokes he’s made aimed at transgender people, to tell Musk that it “sounds like some of those people you fired are in the audience.”
At one point, when Musk attempted to speak, Chappelle interrupted, saying, “Don’t say nothing. You hear that sound, Elon? That’s the sound of pending civil unrest.”
After more jeers, Chappelle ended his show with a reprimand and a prayer.
“Booing is not the best thing you can do,” he said. “I wish everybody in this auditorium the joy of feeling free and may your pursuit of happiness set you free. Amen.”
Musk on Monday appeared to nod to the incident in response to a user tweeting at him about “a crowd full of boos.” Musk claimed that it “was 90% cheers & 10% boos (except during quiet periods), but, still, that’s a lot of boos, which is a first for me in real life (frequent on Twitter).”
According to several people who tweeted videos of the incident, Chappelle gave Musk several opportunities to address the crowd, but Musk stood on stage without much reaction.
After Musk’s $44 billion Twitter takeover, the billionaire owner enacted a number of cost-cutting measures. He has laid off around half of the company’s staff, resulting in a group of former employees suing, alleging the mass layoffs involved multiple labor rights violations.
The remaining staff had to agree to “extremely hardcore” work that appears to have left some people sleeping at Twitter’s headquarters. San Francisco is investigating reports that Musk converted several areas of the office building into makeshift bedrooms.
This incident at the Chase Center capped off a weekend in which Musk, who has a history of erratic behavior and incendiary remarks, waded fully into the culture wars. Musk tweeted that Anthony Fauci, the outgoing director of the National Institutes of Health and Infectious Diseases, should be prosecuted, writing that his pronouns are “pronouns are Prosecute/Fauci.” Musk has been vocal Fauci’s response to the Covid pandemic, including lockdowns that have affected his Tesla plants.
Musk also repeated a trope of the QAnon conspiracy theory movement by falsely suggesting that Twitter’s former trust and safety executive Yoel Roth’s doctoral dissertation made him an advocate for child sexualization. Those tweets subjected Roth to online abuse and abusive behavior.
Musk continued his culture war campaign on Monday, once again warning about the thread of what he calls “the woke mind virus.”
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