Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk responded Saturday to a request from legendary “Star Trek” actor William Shatner — who wanted to know whether he might have a chance at becoming the new “face” of Twitter.
Shatner jumped into the conversation after a number of celebrities and left-leaning pundits complained about Musk’s deal to purchase the social media platform — initially to reassure his fans and followers that he had no intention of fleeing Twitter as some others had threatened to do.
“BTW, since it seems to be the latest ‘thing’ on here. I’m stating that I’m staying on Twitter,” Shatner tweeted. “Besides I think @elonmusk is adorbs. Also, full disclosure: I’m trying to pitch Elon to hire me as face of Twitter. #Dumpthebird.”
Musk’s six-word reply to the Captain Kirk actor was simple: “You will always be my Captain.”
You will always be my Captain
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 30, 2022
Some, like author Eric Michael Garcia (“We’re Not Broken: Changing the Autism Conversation”) criticized Musk because of Shatner’s outspoken support for Autism Speaks.
“This here, is what we call #ActuallyAutistic hell,” he tweeted.
But a number were quick to jump on board with the fictional captain.Dr. Sebastian Gorka tweeted, “I’m with Capt. Kirk. #DumptheBird.”
Warpcore founder Sahil Mohan Gupta noted that adopting the intentionally apolitical Shatner as Twitter’s new face might actually fall right in line with Musk’s stated goal of neutrality.
“Captain Kirk as the face of Twitter will be the ultimate Kobayashi Maru for the extreme right and the extreme left, hence will abide by the @elonmusk maxim of irritating them equally hence being truly neutral as a social media platform,” he said.
Musk said that his vision for Twitter was an arena where speech was truly free. He said he planned to achieve that vision by not reaching beyond the law — and by extension, beyond the voters’ wishes — to place limits on speech. He also advocated for the implementation of rules that annoyed the extremes on both the left and the right equally.
“By ‘free speech,’ I simply mean that which matches the law. I am against censorship that goes far beyond the law. If people want less free speech, they will ask government to pass laws to that effect. Therefore, going beyond the law is contrary to the will of the people,” Musk tweeted earlier in the week.
“For Twitter to deserve public trust, it must be politically neutral, which effectively means upsetting the far right and the far left equally,” he added a day later.