Is Netflix Smash Hit ‘Glass Onion’ is a dig at Elon Musk?

Is Glass Onion About Elon Musk?
Is Glass Onion About Elon Musk?

Filmmaker Rian Johnson gave the internet the best Christmas gift imaginable: Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery and another take-laden, zeitgeist-y pop culture moment fit for pointing and laughs.

Glass Onion is the follow-up to Johnson’s successful and beloved 2019 film Knives Out, starring Daniel Craig, Ana de Armas, and Chris Evans. The sequel hit Netflix Dec. 23, just in time for everyone and their family to gather ’round and take in the two-hour murder mystery.

That includes conservative media personality Ben Shapiro.

On Monday, Shapiro spent 17 tweets ranting about (and spoiling) the plot and politics of the film. He hated both. Glass Onion centers around Edward Norton’s tech billionaire Miles Bron, who invites a group of disparate friends to his private island for a COVID-19 lockdown murder mystery game (yes, there’s an actual murder at the center of it) that ends up being, as Daniel Craig’s Benoit Blanc exasperates, “so dumb.”

Tech billionaires are all the rage these days, and Shapiro and other netizens are drawing conclusions between the metaphors and themes in Johnson’s brazen billionaire and 2022’s billionaire of the moment, Elon Musk.

Musk, who lost a mind-boggling $132 billion in net worth this year, bought Twitter for $44 billion in October. It’s fair to say the purchase has gone poorly—he has laid off thousands of Twitter employees, and been criticized for changing the social media’s practices and implementing subscriptions. That’s not to mention the week or so when users thought the platform might crash and disappear at any moment.

It’s gotten the point that many question whether Musk knows what he’s doing running Twitter, and whether it would better served with someone else at the helm.

The parallels in Johnson’s Glass Onion are, admittedly, present, and people are taking to the platform Musk now owns to do really what Twitter does best: make jokes, be angry, and roast others with an opinion.

Some called out Shapiro for his take. “I love that Glass Onion is such a spot on skewering of Elon that Ben Shapiro is mad about it,” tweeted Elizabeth Spiers. “Just endlessly squeaking about it like a pet toy that’s being stepped on repeatedly.”

“Ben Shapiro being Very Very Angry that a whodunit misled the viewers in the first half is legit the funniest thing to happen in 2022,” tweeted another.

Others shared videos or memes to capture the spot on take of Musk.

“Watched GLASS ONION again and I think it’s beautiful that Rian Johnson was like “I wonder if my class critique was a bit too subtle last time, let’s just dedicate 2.5 hours to pointing and laughing at Elon Musk, the world’s number one dumbass bitch,” tweeted Abe Goldfarb.

Johnson wrote the script for Glass Onion during the height of the pandemic lockdown, before Musk tweeted about buying Twitter. Johnson didn’t write the film with Musk specifically as the archetype, but admitted in an interview with Wired magazine there’s a clear taut string between them.

“It’s very bizarre. I hope there isn’t some secret marketing department at Netflix that’s funding this Twitter takeover,” Johnson told Wired. “But obviously, it has almost a weird relevance in exactly the current moment. A friend of mine said, ‘Man, that feels like it was written this afternoon.’ And that’s just sort of a horrible, horrible accident, you know?”