A cocreator of “The Matrix” has slammed Elon Musk and Ivanka Trump for tweeting the “red pill” phrase that has its origins in the movie series.
Tesla CEO Musk tweeted “Take the red pill” accompanied with a red rose emoji on Sunday, and soon after he was quote-tweeted by Trump with the reply “Taken!”
The movie director Lilly Wachowski did not appreciate the reference, however, and responded to Trump’s tweet by saying, “F— both of you.”
The idea of taking a red pill stems from the first “Matrix” movie, cowritten and directed by the sisters Lilly and Lana Wachowski.
In the key scene, the lead character, Neo, is given a choice between taking a blue pill and a red pill. The red pill reveals the film’s world as it truly is: a dystopian illusion.
But as Business Insider’s Jake Swearingen explained, the “red pill” analogy has more lately been adopted by the far right as a way to describe a political awakening.
The phrase comes up frequently in forums devoted to white supremacy, men’s rights, and support for President Donald Trump.
Musk has become a political renegade in recent weeks on the subject of coronavirus shutdowns, having described stay-at-home orders as “fascist” and making a string of tweets in late April demanding that such policies be reversed. Tesla’s factory in Fremont, California, was forced to halt production as part of a coronavirus-related lockdown.
Wachowski, who is transgender, tweets most often in support of trans rights but also has shared other anti-Trump opinions.
During the 2016 election, she tweeted an article critical of Trump voters, and in early 2019 she retweeted a tweet that referred to the Trump-era Republican Party as “motherf—–s” who “must be eliminated as a political entity.”
Immediately after her reply to Musk and Trump gained attention, she followed it up with a request for donations to an organization supporting services for trans people.