Hey, Hollywood! Elon Musk Is Turning Your Tesla Into a MAGA Hat on Wheels!

Ever since Elon Musk took over Twitter, I’ve been reading about how droves of celebrities are fleeing the social media site. Whoopi Golderg, Shonda Rhimes, Tea Leoni, Sara Bareilles, Toni Braxton, Gigi Hadid, Ken Olin — they’ve all announced (on Twitter, where else?) their intentions to shutter their accounts and leave.

I salute these celebs for decamping from the platform — I’m 100% in favor of the Twitter exodus. In just his first week as owner, Musk fired half his staff, retweeted a despicable conspiracy theory about Nancy Pelosi’s husband, invited a mentally ill rap singer back onto the site to spread antisemitic bile, kicked comedian Kathy Griffin off after she had the audacity to poke fun at him and decided to charge people $8 to have a little blue check mark next to their names.

As Chief Twit, Musk sucks.

Still, if Hollywood really wants to get the richest man in the world’s attention, if Whoopi and Shonda and Gigi truly want to hit him where it hurts, it’s going to take a lot more than quitting Twitter. They’re going to have to give up their rides.

Tesla Model S
Tesla is currently the No. 1 selling vehicle in California.

To be honest, I have no idea if any of the above-mentioned celebs actually own a Tesla, but it’s a pretty safe bet considering the electric car is currently the No. 1-selling vehicle in California, with Model Ss, Xs and Ys clogging parking lots at Erewhon and Whole Foods all over Los Angeles. It’s easy to see why it’s so popular; it’s a super-sleek automobile that’s fun to drive, packed with cutting-edge tech and — best of all — lets drivers smile smugly as they zoom past filling stations peddling $6-a-gallon gas.

But, of course, Tesla’s most advanced feature is that it can virtue-signal at 60 miles per hour. Whether it really is the planet-saving miracle machine its owners think it is remains debatable — some reports suggest that the huge amounts of carbon released in manufacturing its lithium batteries means you’d have to drive a Tesla for three to seven years before breaking even, carbon-wise, with an internal combustion engine — but never mind. The point here is, the Tesla brand has become synonymous with posh blue-state idealism, a totem on tires announcing to the world that the person behind its wheel is not only relatively well-off, but also cares about Mother Earth.

Except then Musk bought Twitter, started tweeting Trumpy messages about how people should vote Republican — as he himself started doing after he moved from California to Texas last year — and now his electric-powered symbol is starting to seem a lot less status-y. Indeed, these days, the Tesla is beginning to look like a MAGA cap with headlights.

elon musk tesla cyber truck
The Tesla Cybertruck’s windows turn out to be less shatterproof than advertised

The dumpster fire Musk has ignited at Twitter already has done serious damage to Tesla, if not yet completely totaled the company. Its stock has lost more than half its value, sliding from $400 a share in January to less than $200 today. Considering how much Musk extended himself in order to scrape together the $44 billion to buy Twitter — selling $19 billion of his own personal Tesla stock (including $3.95 billion just this week) and saddling Twitter with $13 billion in debt, putting it on the hook for a billion dollars a year in interest payments alone — a drop in car sales is the last thing Musk needs at the moment. And yet, the more he tweets, the more he turns off the people who used to be his best customers.

“Elon Musk is lighting the social cachet of owning a Tesla on fire,” tweeted University College London professor Brian Klaas (who obviously hasn’t yet got around to canceling his Twitter account). “A lot of people are going to start feeling more sheepish driving around in one given his conduct.”

University of Southern California professor Kevin Stone echoed the sentiment (again, on Twitter). “Here in CA, I’ve lost track of the number of Tesla owners who say they’ll never own another Tesla,” he wrote, adding that Musk could be “bringing in conservatives into Tesla ownership, so it might be a wash.”

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Professor Stone may be onto something. If Musk keeps on tweeting Trumpy balderdash, pretty soon MAGA Americans may start trading in their gas-guzzling F-150s for the Tesla pickup — if, that is, the boxy-looking Cybertruck ever makes it onto the road (it’s been delayed multiple times since it was unveiled three years ago with a disastrous — and hilarious — press event during which Musk watched in embarrassment as one of his designers accidentally shattered the truck’s window with a metal ball while attempting to prove how unbreakable the glass was).

I don’t know if Musk is still making the electric limo Tesla introduced in 2015, but he might even sell one of those to a certain ex-president currently residing at a country club in Florida. Especially if it self-drives to the U.S. Capitol during insurrections!

Trump in a Tesla? That’s the day Hollywood will definitely unplug.

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