A hot potato: Elon Musk: world's richest man, self-proclaimed edgelord, space adventurer, and now Time magazine's Person of the Year for 2021. The Tesla/SpaceX boss has been given the accolade "for creating solutions to an existential crisis, for embodying the possibilities and the perils of the age of tech titans, for driving society's most daring and disruptive transformations," apparently. But not everyone is happy with the choice.
Time acknowledges that whatever your opinion of Musk, he certainly makes headlines, be it for his influence on the price of crypto, tweeting views on controversial subjects, or the several companies he oversees.
But some people are far from happy to see Musk take the award. His view on taxing the rich certainly hasn't won him many fans. A June report showed how the CEO and other members of the super-rich use legal methods to avoid or pay very little in federal tax. He also replied to Bernie Sanders' tweet about the extremely wealthy paying their fair share with "I keep forgetting that you're still alive."
It's *TIME* for Elon Musk to pay his fair share in taxes. https://t.co/cKTkOKDtpc--- Rep. Pramila Jayapal (@RepJayapal) December 13, 2021
I keep forgetting that you're still alive--- Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 14, 2021
Senator Elizabeth Warren responded to Time's choice with "Let's change the rigged tax code so The Person of the Year will actually pay taxes and stop freeloading off everyone else." While author Kurt Eichenwald highlighted Musk suggesting Covid-19 isn't as severe as many believe and his railing against the lockdowns.
I held back on saying much about Time selecting Elon Musk as person of the years until I read their reasoning. In a year when the developers of the mRNA vaccines have saved millions and helped restore global economies, the selection of Musk this year may be the worst choice ever.--- Kurt Eichenwald (@kurteichenwald) December 13, 2021
Musk has often been accused of manipulating the price of various cryptocurrencies with his actions and tweets. Bitcoin's price crashed after he said Tesla would stop accepting it but rallied after Musk confirmed the company would "likely" start allowing customers to pay with it again.
Time magazine does state that its person of the year is awarded to those who "influenced the news, for better or for worse." It named singer-songwriter and actress Olivia Rodrigo its Entertainer of the Year, gymnast Simone Biles Athlete of the Year, and vaccine scientists were Heroes of the Year.
Musk replied to the magazine's announcement tweet with a "Thank You!"