It must suck to be hated by the people who make your favorite things. On Sunday, Elon Musk — one of the richest people in America — semi-cryptically tweeted “Take the red pill” alongside a socialist red rose emoji. He was clearly invoking a key moment from the movie The Matrix, but more specifically he was referring to his increasingly public derision for nationwide quarantines, which have shut down the economy and caused people like him to lose a miniscule fraction of their unimaginable wealth. Musk’s tweet wasn’t all that well-received, but it did have a fan in Ivanka Trump. One person who disapproves of both of them: one of the creators of The Matrix itself.
That would be Lilly Wachowski who, alongside her sister Lana, wrote and directed the Matrix trilogy, as well as Bound, Jupiter Ascending, and Sense-8. (Lana is handling the forthcoming fourth Matrix solo.) When she saw that Trump had retweeted Musk, lending her support with an excited “Taken!”, she could not remain silent.
Fuck both of you
— Lilly Wachowski (@lilly_wachowski) May 17, 2020
“Take the red pill” refers to a scene early in the first Matrix, in which Laurence Fishburne’s Morpheus offers Keanu Reeves’ Neo two options: a blue pill, which will cause him to forget he ever learned about the truth behind his artificial world and go on living a lie, or a red pill, which will wake him up. According to Business Insider, the phrase has been co-opted by those on the far right, denoting those who’ve converted to the side of Donald J. Trump.
Wachowski’s curt response — a simple “F*ck both of you” — was well-received on Twitter.
— Patton Oswalt (@pattonoswalt) May 17, 2020
there’s so many layers here. ‘red pilling’ being for ppl who get sucked into hateful rightwing propaganda, the rose emoji representing socialism, red longtime standing for communism, the two of them being the absolute fucking worst, the matrix being a trans allegory, what else
— talia jane (@itsa_talia) May 17, 2020
Open for a surprise from the person who wrote The Matrix pic.twitter.com/eIDxMRGSUH
— Andrew Rose Gregory (@arosegregory) May 17, 2020
Some also pointed out that The Matrix — made by trans women, whose rights and safety are routinely under assault by the current Republican administration — is not one that should be co-opted by wingers.
Fuck capitalists and conservatives who claim The Matrix and its "red pill" metaphor as their own. Neo's journey is one of liberation of the self in a hostile world, an experience its trans creators understand quite well but that those bozos never will.https://t.co/Th1bExmiFn
— Carolyn Petit (@carolynmichelle) May 17, 2020