Elon Musk has criticized Amazon Prime Video’s billion-dollar fantasy series The Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power, tweeting that late author J.R.R. Tolkien is “turning in his grave.”
Expanding on why he didn’t like the show, Musk tweeted that “almost every male character so far is a coward, a jerk or both,” adding that “only Galadriel is brave, smart and nice.” Galadriel, played by Welsh actress Morfydd Clark, is a warrior elf and the lead of the series that is set thousands of years before the events of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.
Worthy of note, Musk has a long-running feud and rivalry with Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, a rivalry that has intensified as Musk’s SpaceX and Bezos’ Blue Origin compete directly. The enmity between the world’s two richest people has seen the Tesla CEO habitually troll or shitpost against Bezos and his companies.
Thus far, Rings of Power has been a huge success for Amazon, scoring 25 million viewers for the first two episodes, Prime Video’s top premiere ever. Critics have also reacted positively, with the show boasting a 84 percent critics score on Rotten Tomatoes and 71 percent on Metacritic. Audience scores, on the other hand, have been poor, which has led to allegations of review bombing.
Musk’s caviling echoes much of the criticisms the show has faced from online trolls who have taken issue with Rings centering the show around Galadriel.
Trolls have also taken issue with the series featuring non-white characters. Writing about the racist backlash the show has faced, The Hollywood Reporter‘s Richard Newby said the criticism was erroneous.
“At this point, I’ve heard every argument in the book against why castmembers Lenny Henry, Ismael Cruz Cordova, Nazanin Boniadi, Sara Zwangobani, Maxine Cunliffe and Sophia Nomvete shouldn’t play harfoots, elves, dwarves, or even humans in the Middle-earth where Amazon’s series is set,” wrote Newby. “The most common refrain is that Tolkien didn’t include people of color in his stories. Not only is this untrue, as harfoots are described as having “browner” skin, but Tolkien didn’t often make a point to describe skin color, though he occasionally leaned on the open-ended “fairer than …”