Elon Musk Reveals He’s ‘Personally’ Paying For 3 Celebs To Keep Their Blue Checks On Twitter
Elon Musk
Beata Zawrzel/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Elon Musk said Thursday that he’s “personally” paying for subscriptions to Twitter Blue for three prominent celebrity accounts: Stephen King, LeBron James, and William Shatner.

Some Twitter users saw the move as a form of trolling since those three individuals have vowed to not pay for the new Twitter verification on principle. The social media platform recently removed their blue check verification from prominent business and celebrity accounts unless they paid the $8/month subscription fee. 

Following the Thursday update, only government accounts were eligible for free verification on Twitter.

King kicked off the conversation with a tweet that said, “My Twitter account says I’ve subscribed to Twitter Blue. I haven’t. My Twitter account says I’ve given a phone number. I haven’t.” Musk replied, “You’re welcome namaste.”

The billionaire CEO of Twitter, Tesla, and SpaceX then tweeted that he was “personally” paying for Twitter Blue for James, Shatner, and King. 

In October 2022, King expressed his disdain for the concept of Twitter charging users $20/month for verification. “F*** that, they should pay me. If that gets instituted, I’m gone like Enron,” the horror writer posted at the time. “It ain’t the money, it’s the principle of the thing.” 

Musk responded, “We need to pay the bills somehow! Twitter cannot rely entirely on advertisers. How about $8 [per month]?”

NBA star James tweeted on March 31, “Welp guess my blue [check] will be gone soon cause if you know me I ain’t paying the 5,” with the shrugging emoji. 


“Star Trek” alum Shatner also directed ire toward Musk, writing in March, “Hey [Elon Musk] what’s this about blue checks going away unless we pay Twitter? I’ve been here for 15 years giving my [time] & witty thoughts all for bupkis. Now you’re telling me that I have to pay for something you gave me for free? What is this – the Colombia Records & Tape Club?”

Since the updates, certain celebrities, including Rihanna, Taylor Swift, Britney Spears, Ellen DeGeneres, and Miley Cyrus, still have their blue checkmarks, though it’s unclear if they paid for Twitter Blue. Other celebrities lost their checkmarks and had various reactions.

“No blue check, still feel like me,” actor Ben Stiller wrote.

Sesame Street’s Grover also shared his thoughts, writing, “My cute adorable blue checkmark is now gone, but I, your cute adorable blue monster, am still here!”

Bette Midler was furious to have her blue check taken away. “Elon took my blue check away! I’m unverified! After all these years and thousands of tweets and free content, this worm has the nerve to de-certify me,” she wrote.

Later in the day, the “Hocus Pocus” star lashed out again. 

“Elon, deciding that I’m not me, I’m a fake, & obliging ME, who has contributed mightily to your platform, (at least until you “tweaked the algorithm & tanked my metrics”) to pay monthly because you don’t have enough money & you’re humiliated b/c everyone thinks you’re a pathetic douche, is the funniest thing you’ve ever done. Let that sink in. Sorry to hear about your rocket,” Midler said. 

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