It seems like Elon Musk is getting in on the raging culture war surrounding The Lord of the Rings: The Rings Of Power. The show has faced a significant amount of backlash since its release, on multiple fronts. Some people don’t like the pacing, others don’t like how action-packed it is for a Tolkien show, and others have less reasonable complaints.
Reviews for the show were pushed back after it was the subject of a review-bombing campaign. A number of people claim that the show isn’t “true to Tolkien’s original vision,” which really just seems to be a roundabout way to say that they don’t like that the show features persons of color. That may seem like an exaggeration at first, but spending a few minutes in any comment section featuring discourse about the show makes it abundantly clear why some people are upset.
Elon Musk has decided that he needs to get in on this one, as he usually does with random traditionally nerdy IPs. He made two tweets that expressed his disdain for the series, claiming that all of the males in the show are either cowards or jerks, while Galadriel is the only character who’s likable and strong. He also said that Tolkien would be rolling in his grave.
He also made sure to make a pretty transparent move. Right under his tweets about the show (something everyone is talking about), he pointed out that he felt like 90 percent of the people commenting on his post were bots. Musk is in the middle of a legal battle over his attempted purchase of Twitter.
It’s also worth noting that The Lord of the Rings show comes from Amazon’s Prime Video, and Musk has feuded with Amazon’s Jeff Bezos in the past. Both also currently run their own competing space tourism companies, SpaceX and Blue Origin.
There’s actually a lot of scholarship done on Tolkien’s treatment of race. Despite critiques that the characterization of Orcs in his works was racist, he also denied ever intending to write racial propaganda in his private letters.