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Opinion: Elon Musk’s large mistake on ‘SNL’

For “SNL,” like all long-running TV exhibits, it is all about rankings and relevancy. By Sunday afternoon, there have been greater than 3 million views of Musk’s monologue on YouTube and early rankings confirmed a giant win on the viewers entrance.
For Musk, the obvious purpose was to make himself likeable to those that know him solely because the Tesla and SpaceX founder who has been criticized for his controversial remarks. And in case you watched his monologue in a vacuum, Musk did come throughout likeable and humorous. He additionally candidly acknowledged he had Asperger’s syndrome, an autism spectrum dysfunction that impacts language and communication expertise. (Though his declare that he was the primary particular person with Asperger’s to host was incorrect. Dan Aykroyd, a former “SNL” forged member who hosted the present in 2003, additionally has the syndrome.)

Musk even introduced his mom on stage to joke about his childhood. It was a dream for any PR particular person working to enhance Musk’s picture. However nowhere did Musk provide any regret for his significantly reviled statements over the past 13 months.

Essentially the most astounding half is that throughout the present’s monologue, Musk truly had the right second to point out he had the energy required to apologize. Musk said mid-speech “Look, I do know I typically submit or say unusual issues, however that is simply how my mind works.”

Did he then notice it was flawed to undermine the dangers posed by Covid or to voice his ridicule about utilizing the right pronouns for folks within the transgender group — made worse when he defended himself by tweeting: “I completely assist trans, however all these pronouns are an esthetic nightmare? Nope. As a substitute, Musk appeared to make excuses for his remarks: “To anybody I’ve offended, I simply needed to say: I reinvented electrical automobiles and I am sending folks to Mars on a rocket ship.” He then added, “Did you assume I used to be additionally going to be a chill, regular dude?”
Musk missed one other alternative in a riff on folks being judged by the “dumbest issues” they’d ever achieved. Extremely, he thought his dumbest factor was to smoke weed on a podcast. General, he appears to be telling us to just accept his previous — and any probably hurtful or irresponsible feedback he makes sooner or later — as a result of he is a profitable govt who helped ship folks into house. Actually? (Satirically, one not-so-smart enterprise transfer might have been his reference to Dogecoin, the cryptocurrency that he has touted prior to now. Its worth dropped dramatically after he jokingly referred to as it a “hustle” throughout the present.)
This isn’t about demanding that “SNL” — or any comedy present — keep away from individuals who will appeal to media protection. In reality, to ensure that “SNL” to stay related after 46 years on air, it should courtroom some controversy. Earlier than Musk appeared on the present, I wrote for CNN that Musk did not deserve the “honor” of internet hosting this present, however I did not name for the present to disinvite him.
My hope was that Musk would use the present to acknowledge (even comically) that his irresponsible feedback and actions had a real-world unfavorable consequence on folks’s lives. For instance, it was not simply that Musk slammed Covid restrictions final 12 months as “fascist,” he reopened his Tesla facility in Fremont, California, in defiance of the state’s Covid tips final Might. Greater than 400 workers there examined constructive for Covid over the subsequent seven months.
As well as, Musk’s feedback ridiculing the thought of utilizing the suitable pronouns for folks within the transgender group got here at a time that Republicans in state legislatures had been gearing as much as introduce payments curbing the rights of transgender folks throughout the nation.
The ache brought on by these legal guidelines has led some dad and mom of transgender teenagers to maneuver from GOP-controlled states due to the anti-trans atmosphere these legal guidelines are fostering. Musk might simply have used “SNL” to make the apology requested by the Human Rights Marketing campaign, a number one LGBTQ rights group, again in December.
The larger situation is that Musk, who boasts almost 54 million Twitter followers and a loyal base of followers, is sending a message to this large group of those that the sort of conduct is suitable in our society. Appallingly, “SNL” helped him ship that very message within the pursuit of rankings and relevance.

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