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Elon Musk says 'wokeness' is 'divisive, exclusionary, and hateful'

FILE - In this Dec. 1, 2020 file photo, SpaceX owner and Tesla CEO Elon Musk arrives on the red carpet for the Axel Springer media award, in Berlin, Germany. (Hannibal Hanschke/Pool via AP, File)
FILE - In this Dec. 1, 2020 file photo, SpaceX owner and Tesla CEO Elon Musk arrives on the red carpet for the Axel Springer media award, in Berlin, Germany. (Hannibal Hanschke/Pool via AP, File)
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WASHINGTON (TND) — Elon Musk, appearing in an interview with the satirical publication "The Babylon Bee", voiced his off-the-cuff thoughts about several topics, ranging from California to Batman to the topic of "wokeness".

Musk began the interview by lamenting California, saying the state used to be the "land of opportunity", but now it has become the "land of over-regulation, over-litigation, and scorn." The Babylon Bee interviewers and Musk agree to say it's left-leaning policies that have caused this transformation.

"Gavin Newsom is U-Haul salesman of the year," Musk jokes.

Moving on to another topic, Musk and his interviewers began to discuss the concept of being "woke".

Wokeness basically wants to make comedy illegal,” Musk said. “Trying to shut down Chappelle, come on, man, that’s crazy. Do we want a humorless society that is simply rife with condemnation and hate basically? At its heart, wokeness is divisive, exclusionary, and hateful. It basically gives mean people a shield to be mean and cruel, armored in false virtue.

Musk is referencing comedian Dave Chappelle, who is facing controversy over his recent Netflix special "The Closer", which features him talking about transgender people and his life experience with a trans comedian. Critics called Chappelle "transphobic" for his comments and attempted to "cancel" him, in one instance seeking to keep Chappelle's old high school from honoring him.

Building off his statement about "wokeness" and comedy, Musk says he used to be a bigger fan of "The Onion," another popular satirical website, until it became "politically correct".

"It's ['The Onion'] gone the 'SNL' [Saturday Night Live] direction... it will not really make fun of anything on the left," Musk says, adding he thinks The Onion used to be a bit more "even-handed" until it was infected by "woke-mind-virus", as Musk calls it. Musk hosted an episode of "Saturday Night Live" in May.

When one of the interviewers joked Musk could be on "a real news organization" like CNN instead of with them, Musk laughed and said he "wasn't perverted enough" to be on CNN, an apparent reference to the recent firings of anchor Chris Cuomo and a senior producer who was arrested by the FBI for allegedly paying a mother to rape her 9-year-old daughter.

Several other questions are asked and answered during Musk's interview. He chats about his companies, Tesla and SpaceX, he discusses artificial intelligence, the "metaverse", his plans for the future and more. The entire interview lasts for about an hour, but an extended cut was uploaded to The Babylon Bee's YouTube account that includes another 40 minutes of content.

The Babylon Bee is a conservative satire website that usually focuses on current political trends and topics. The publication admits it was a "scramble" to put together the interview with Musk, especially since they didn't have much time to prepare.

He invited us to interview him halfway across the country on a Sunday on Thursday night. This was the biggest scramble of our lives and a total blast. But yes we weren’t prepared. And to be honest I don’t think I’d have been prepared if I had weeks to get ready," says Babylon Bee's creative director Ethan Nicolle.

Musk tweeted a few days before the interview he was going to pay more than $11 billion in taxes this year.

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