The Brief: Space Karen is a nickname given to Elon Musk for his Karen-like behaviors.
The name “Space Karen” has been thrown around to make fun of Tesla and Space X CEO Elon Musk for his entitled and uncompassionate behavior. His actions including complaining about pronouns, defying lockdown orders, and downplaying the danger of the pandemic all give off the “can I speak to the manager” energy that Karens are known for.
The term first took off in late April 2020 after Musk tweeted “FREE AMERICA NOW,” alluding to his opposition to COVID-19 lockdown orders. People took to social media to roast Musk for complaining about measures designed to keep people safe during a pandemic. Around that time, photoshopped images of Musk with the “may I speak to the manager” haircut started circulating online to highlight his Karen-like qualities.
On November 16, 2020, the moniker started trending on Twitter after Doctor Emma Bell dunked on him for his uninformed tweets about COVID-19 testing.
Rapid antigen tests trade sensitivity for speed. They return a result in <30 minutes, but can only detect COVID-19 when you're absolutely riddled with it. What's bogus is that Space Karen didn't read up on the test before complaining to his millions of followers. pic.twitter.com/a1Snfpm03h
— Emma Bell PhD (@emmabell42) November 14, 2020
The academic who called Elon Musk ‘Space Karen’ won Monday for me.
— Zamandlovu Ndlovu (@Ms_ZamaNdlovu) November 16, 2020