Who could have guessed that booking a guy who’s spent the pandemic spreading misinformation and stoking COVID-19 conspiracy theories would be controversial?
On May 8, Saturday Night Live will welcome billionaire Tesla CEO Elon Musk to Studio 8H—and predictably, the announcement has ruffled some feathers. Among the frustrated parties, it seems, are a few SNL cast members, who shared shady remarks on social media that have now all disappeared.
Priggish, union-busting tech moguls are not typically called upon to host SNL, but the sketch show has welcomed a controversial booking or two in the past. Most notably, there was Donald Trump’s dismal appearance in 2015—and a MAGA-fied Kanye West’s controversial turn a few years later.
Still, Musk’s booking feels like the ultimate troll; unlike Trump, who up until his presidential run had at least been a TV figure, and musician West, Musk has no entertainment bona fides to speak of—unless you count things like awkwardly balancing a joint on Joe Rogan and naming your child X Æ A-12.
And yet, on Saturday, Musk shared the news in a cryptic tweet. “Let’s find out just how live Saturday Night Live really is,” he wrote, finishing the message with a smiling purple imp emoji. Bowen Yang, who became the show’s first Asian cast member in 2019 and has since emerged as a breakout performer, shared a screenshot of the post on Instagram Stories with an extremely valid question: “what the fuck does this even mean?”
Andrew Dismukes, who joined the cast this season as a featured player after writing for the show since 2017, went with a pun on his own Instagram Story, writing, “Only CEO I wanna do sketch with is Cher-E Oteri.”
And then there was Aidy Bryant, who shared a screenshot of an old Bernie Sanders tweet that reads, “The 50 wealthiest people in America today own more wealth than the bottom half of our people. Let me repeat that, because it is almost too absurd to believe: the 50 wealthiest people in this country own more wealth than some 165 MILLION Americans. That is a moral obscenity.”
Sudi Green, who writes for the show, shared the same post, per CNBC.
Coincidence, or pointed message aimed at the member of that 50-member club who will now host the show on which both these women work? We’ll let you decide!
A representative for NBC did not immediately respond to The Daily Beast’s request for comment.