Can someone just take away Elon Musk’s phone? One would think that the world is exhausting enough already at the moment—and yet on Sunday the Tesla founder fired off a tweet that said, “Take the red pill” and finished off with a rose emoji. Hours later, the singer Grimes’ mother, journalist Sandy Garossino, fired off a couple messages of her own—which seem to indicate she’s less than pleased with the father of her grandchild.
Garossino has deleted her tweets—but like everything that makes noise on the internet, they’ve been screen-captured for posterity. In one post, she wrote, “If your partner went through a challenging pregnancy and childbirth in the last two weeks, and you were over 16 years old, would you be blaring MRA [men's rights activist] bullshit on Twitter right now?” Responding to another tweet, in which someone slammed Musk for tweeting about red pills with a three-week-old baby, Garossino corrected, “Not yet 2 weeks old.” As Page Six notes, she also retweeted a post suggesting Musk should face arrest after his attempt to reopen Tesla factories in California in defiance of a court order.
The term “red pill” derives from the Matrix trilogy. In one of the film’s most oft-referenced scenes, Laurence Fishburne’s Morpheus offers Keanu Reeves’ Neo a choice between a literal red pill and a blue pill. Should he take the red capsule, Morpheus tells Neo, he will learn the truth about the Matrix, while the blue will allow him to remain in the dark. Now, however, the scene has been co-opted by men’s rights activists—who have also managed to turn Fight Club, a text about toxic masculinity, into their very own manifesto.
One almost has to salute the sheer number of ways Musk has found to make people angry. In addition to his red pill comments, there’s the time he corrected Grimes on the origin of their child’s name, hours after her difficult labor. And there’s also the fact that Tesla told workers last week that their unemployment could be suspended, should they decide not to show up for work as Musk attempted to reopen the company. (“Choosing not to report to work may eliminate or reduce your eligibility for unemployment depending on your state’s unemployment agency,” an email to employees said.)
Grimes’ mother is not the only one to slam Musk’s tweet. Lilly Wachowski, who directed The Matrix along with her sister Lana, responded to Ivanka Trump’s retweet of Musk’s post—in which Trump simply chirped, “Taken!”—with an even more unequivocal message: “Fuck both of you.”