There are disadvantages to being considered as the real-life Tony Stark. Just like his comic book counterpart, Elon Musk courts controversy on a relatively frequent basis, whether through his occasional off-the-cuff Twitter commentary or his stance on sensitive subjects. This was one of the reasons why there was much noise after Saturday Night Live announced that the Tesla and SpaceX CEO would be hosting its May 8, 2021 episode.
In a statement to Page Six, Musk noted that rumors alleging that members of the SNLcast are upset about his hosting gig are “much ado about nothing.” Musk also stated that everyone has so far been friendly, despite speculations stating that there has been some pushback from cast members about his involvement. Musk also noted that everyone has been willing to work with him.
— Saturday Night Live – SNL (@nbcsnl) May 6, 2021
Not long after Musk confirmed that he would indeed be hosting the late-night comedy show, several Saturday Night Live cast members proceeded to air their opposition to the CEO. Among these was cast member Bowen Yang, who responded to Musk’s tweet about the live nature of the show with “What the f–k does this even mean?” Fellow cast member Aidy Bryant, on the other hand, seemingly took issue with Musk’s net worth by posting a tweet from Senator Bernie Sanders criticizing the wealth disparity in the United States.
Both cast members have since deleted their posts. But despite this, the social media fallout of Musk’s appearance was still notable. Even Miley Cyrus, the May 8 SNLepisode’s musical guest, received flak after expressing her excitement for Musk’s appearance. The award-winning artist ended up blasted on social media by users who claimed that Musk was “destroying the planet,” and some who argued that the CEO does not like women.
— Whole Mars Catalog (@WholeMarsBlog) May 5, 2021
This eventually led to reports stating that SNL cast members would not be forced to appear beside Elon Musk if they were not comfortable with the CEO’s presence on the show. “Speaking historically, if a cast member has been that unhappy, they don’t have to do it. (SNL boss Lorne Michaels) won’t ever make them do anything they don’t want to do,” a source reportedly told Page Six.
While Musk’s appearance is already courting some controversy, Musk has also received support for his SNL hosting gig as well. Noted late-night host Conan O’Brien, who actually wrote for Saturday Night Live from 1988 to 1991, tols TMZ that non-comedians like Elon Musk usually prove to be “dream guests” on the late-night comedy show. O’Brien remarked that it’s worth giving Musk a chance, as viewers may very well be pleasantly surprised.