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"Glass Onion" Slammed for Depicting Elon Musk as "a Bad and Stupid Man"

Conservative writer Ben Shapiro unleashed a Twitter thread criticizing the Knives Out sequel.

If you've watched the murder mystery Glass Onion, filmmaker Rian Johnson's sequel to his 2019 hit Knives Out, then you likely realized who Edward Norton's character Miles Bron is meant to send up. The action of the movie begins when a group of long-time friends—and renowned detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig)—arrive (amid COVID) at Bron's private island for a weekend getaway. Twists, turns, betrayals, and backstabbings ensue; all the while, the movie continues to poke fun at Bron's bravado and ignorance, as well as the shortcomings of his influencer cronies.

But not everyone is enjoying the class commentary at the heart of the thriller-comedy. In a 17-tweet thread, conservative writer and commentator Ben Shapiro slammed Glass Onion for its thinly veiled parody of billionaire and Twitter CEO Elon Musk, insisting that Norton's character advances a "foolish conspiracy theory" about the divisive public figure. Read on to find out why he and other Musk fans are up in arms about the Netflix original.

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Norton plays the co-founder of a tech company called Alpha.

Edward Norton in Glass Onion

In Glass Onion, Miles Bron (not quite an anagram of "Elon Musk," but close enough) sends elaborate puzzle boxes to the old friends he used to hang out with at a dive bar before they all became successful to come to his island for a weekend-long murder mystery game. The game is complicated by the arrival of Blanc, who is not a part of the group, and Andi (Janelle Monáe), Miles' former business partner, whom he squeezed out of their tech company Alpha when she objected to the dangerous nature of one of his pet projects.

In fact, none of Miles' friends seem to like him very much. Early in the weekend, Andi accuses all of them of siding with Miles over her in the dispute because they all rely on him, in some way, for their wealth and status.

He's portrayed as a fool.

Edward Norton, Madelyn Cline, and Daniel Craig in Glass Onion
John Wilson/Netflix

Beware—major plot spoilers ahead!

In a twist halfway through the film, it's revealed that Andi has been murdered, and it's actually her twin Helen who comes to the island to find her sister's killer. The culprit turns out Miles himself, who killed Andi to prevent her from producing proof that she came up with the main idea behind Alpha. He also poisons men's rights streamer Duke (Dave Bautista) on the island, after Duke sees a news report on his phone that Andi was found dead in her home, and shoots Helen, who survives because her sister's diaries blocked the bullet.

In one of his detective monologues, Blanc tells the group that the case originally stumped him not because Miles is some kind of criminal mastermind, but because he's so unintelligent. The selfish and petulant billionaire uses words incorrectly and sometimes downright makes them up, some of the artwork in his extravagant correction is hung upside down, and any good idea he does have has been stolen from someone else.

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At least one Musk fan isn't happy.

Elon Musk in 2022
Noam Galai/Getty Images for Heidi Klum

Glass Onion hit Netflix on Dec. 25, and the following day, a critical thread by Shapiro began going viral. "I regret to inform you that 'Glass Onion' is actively bad," the first tweet reads. "I will discuss first the actual writing of the movie followed by the politics of it. Both suck. SPOILERS follow."

The commentator goes on to list his grievances about the film, which include the mid-movie twist ("We're actively deceived by the writer.") and Miles' denseness as a plot point ("the lazy writer's way out").

But Shapiro seemed to be most upset by the satire of Musk. "Rian Johnson's politics is as lazy as his writing. His take on the universe is that Elon Musk is a bad and stupid man, and that anyone who likes him—in media, politics, or tech—is being paid off by him," he writes.

"This is an incredibly stupid theory," he continues, "since Musk is one of the most successful entrepreneurs in human history (how many rockets has Johnson launched lately?), and it's a foolish conspiracy theory to boot."

Musk is the founder of SpaceX, a private company with a goal of eventually colonizing Mars.

Twitter users are roasting Shapiro for his take.

Ben Shapiro in 2018
Rich Polk/Getty Images for Politicon

Unsurprisingly, Glass Onion fans have been poking fun at Shapiro's review.

"GLASS ONION made Ben Shapiro so angry, he woke up before 7 am the day after Christmas and tweeted a 17-entry rant, then didn't say anything else all day," Twitter user @lons wrote. "It deserves at least 5 Oscars for this achievement alone."

"I love that Glass Onion is such a spot on skewering of Elon that Ben Shapiro is mad about it," @espiers tweeted. "Just endlessly squeaking about it like a pet toy that's being stepped on repeatedly."

"'Rian Johnson thinks Elon Musk and his fanboys are dumb. This is not true' -Ben Shapiro 10+ tweets into a thread where he loudly announces that he doesn't understand how mystery films work," @dannyvegito wrote.

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Johnson had no idea the movie would be so relevant.

Rian Johnson in 2022
Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

In October of this year, Musk purchased Twitter, plunging the social media platform into an ongoing turbulent period, which has including mass layoffs, the discontinuation of various safety and verification processes, and the suspension and banning of journalists who had been critical of him. On Dec. 18, he tweeted a poll asking whether he should step down as CEO; 57.5% of respondents voted "yes."

Musk declared two days later that he would "resign as CEO" once he could "find someone foolish enough to take the job!"

Considering that Musk appears to be making and un-making drastic changes to a global communication tool according to his whims, the release of Glass Onion has proven to be uncannily timely. In an interview with Wired, Johnson commented on just how much Miles is meant to resemble the new Twitter owner and about the incredible coincidence of it all.

"There's a lot of general stuff about that sort of species of tech billionaire that went directly into it," the filmmaker said. "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?"

Sage Young
Sage Young is the Deputy Entertainment Editor at Best Life, expanding and honing our coverage in this vertical by managing a team of industry-obsessed writers. Read more
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