The Grand Theft Auto 6 reveal trailer has given us yet another example of Elon Musk’s inability to stop saying things that make Twitter CEO Linda Yaccarino’s job harder. This time, the stakes were much lower than when Musk told advertisers who opted to leave the platform that they could go f*ck themselves during the New York Times’ recent DealBook Summit. But it still points to the clear conflict between Musk’s bizarre, narcissistic need to put his personal feelings about everything front and center and Yaccarino’s desire to run a company where brands feel comfortable advertising.
A few hours after Yaccarino tweeted at Rockstar, pleading for the blockbuster developer to upload the GTA 6 trailer directly to the social media site —
— Musk was responding to a tweet from a Twitter employee who said that they had never played any of the GTA games, with a goodie two-shoes reply bemoaning the series’ treatment of police.
“Tried [playing GTA], but didn’t like doing crime,” Musk wrote. “GTA5 required shooting police officers in the opening scene. Just couldn’t do it.”
What a dweeb.
Until recently, Musk had convinced much of the public that he was a hip guy, working to accomplish cool, forward-thinking goals for a rock ‘n roll future on a colonized Mars. He prides himself on his edgy branding, an impulse that led to the creation of the PS1-style boondoggle we know as Cybertruck, and to Musk burning the brand recognition of one of the best-known social media platforms in the world to make it sound more like a porn site. He likes thinking of himself as a maverick who doesn’t play by the rules — see the safety issues in Tesla plants that resulted because Musk hated the color yellow and didn’t want to see “too many signs” on the factory floor — but who gets results by coloring outside the lines.
Musk’s rapid devaluation of X — the site is down 90 percent of its value from when he bought it, by his own estimation — has called the second part of that formulation into question. He doesn’t seem to be getting results, unless the results he was after were making the platform unsafe for brands and comfy cozy for Nazis. But, his objection to GTA is so fundamentally bootlicking that it makes it clear he fundamentally loves the rules, too — he just doesn’t think they should apply to him.
“I feel uncomfortable that GTA makes me shoot cops” is the reasoning you’d get from a prudish adult raining on the parade to teens discussing the game at church. It’s the opinion of strict, boring parents, not “disruptors.” Musk has attempted to portray himself as a punk; a renegade. But, I guess when you grew up in apartheid-era South Africa, raised by a man who owned an emerald mine, you can’t actually bring yourself to resist the status quo — even safely within the bounds of a video game.
NEXT: What Are The Chances We Can Talk About GTA 6 For Over A Decade?