'Offensive,' 'Well Deserved': Reactions Pour in to Elon Musk as Time's Person of the Year

Reactions poured in after Time magazine announced Elon Musk as their person of the year on Monday.

Musk, the richest person in the world, is known for being the founder of Tesla and SpaceX. He also built up a significant social media following and celebrity persona.

"Musk has spent a lifetime defying the haters; now, it seems, he's finally in position to put them in their place," Time magazine wrote.

The magazine pointed to a series of his accomplishments in 2021 including securing a contract with NASA to send U.S. astronauts to the moon, hosting Saturday Night Live and a deal with Hertz to add 100,000 Teslas to its fleet.

Time Editor-in-Chief Edward Felsenthal wrote: "Person of the Year is a marker of influence, and few individuals have had more influence than Musk on life on Earth, and potentially life off Earth too."

But Musk has also emerged as a polarizing figure. Many took to social media to share their reactions to Time naming him Person of the Year, with many offering congratulations to Musk over the accomplishment.

"Huge congratulations to @elonmusk for being @Time Person of the Year!! Nothing but gratitude to @SpaceX for sending me and my @inspiration4x crew safely to orbit and back. Thanks for advancing humanity both on and off earth!" wrote astronaut Dr. Sian Proctor.

"Well deserved. @TIME finally makes a solid & inspiring choice," wrote

"Elon Musk is well worthy of Time Magazine's Person of the Year. The haters want him to be a villain so badly," wrote Johnna Crider.

"Been critical of the Time selection most years, but this actually makes some sense given the original criteria (it doesn't go to the best person, hence, Hitler and Stalin winning). I think Xi Jinping should have also been considered given China's impact," wrote Joe Concha.

"Well deserved @elonmusk - advancing sustainability and space travel. At the same time. Congrats. #tesla #SpaceX $TSLA," wrote Ross Gerber.

"It's not about Tesla being beaten by GM or Ford, it's about companies focusing on renewable energy solutions," wrote Ahmad Salim.

Elon Musk Person of the Year Reactions
Social media reacted to Elon Musk, above in Beverly Hills in 2015, being named Time’s Person of the Year on Monday. Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

"If you want to know why @Time went down the crapper many years ago, here's an award they've given to @elonmusk for having the worst Ego:Accomplishment ratio in the world," wrote political commentator Keith Olbermann.

"Time's Man/Woman/It of the Year has always been meaningless: unbearable editorial hubris. But this year, as lives are lost to pandemic and as democracy is in peril, it is offensive and further evidence that 'news judgment' is as flawed as 'objectivity,'" wrote Jeff Jarvis.

Aaron Huertas wrote: "What sealed it for you? The union busting or this tweet?"

"That Elon Musk is chosen as #personoftheyear by Time Magazine instead of scientists racing to track variants while developing #COVID19 vaccines for kids, or exhausted health care professionals batting to save the lives of abusive anti-vaxers, is very on-brand for 2021 media," wrote Brent Toderian.

Nick Jaynes wrote: "Charlatan of the year, liar of the year—these would have all been acceptable. But person? C'mon."

"Absurd and unserious. more impactful for better or worse (mostly worse this year): Putin, Fauci/Covid vaccine researchers, US Supreme Court, Joe Manchin, Pelosi, Zuckerberg, Murdoch, Xi,etc," wrote Jennifer Rubin.

Others offered mixed feelings about whether or not he should be named Person of the Year.

"Elon Musk as an entrepreneur has been staggeringly successful, and I am thankful for that," wrote Ian Bremmer. "But, he has been one of the most irresponsible forces in the country on issues of policy that affect the average human being."

Editor's pick

Newsweek cover
  • Newsweek magazine delivered to your door
  • Unlimited access to Newsweek.com
  • Ad free Newsweek.com experience
  • iOS and Android app access
  • All newsletters + podcasts
Newsweek cover
  • Unlimited access to Newsweek.com
  • Ad free Newsweek.com experience
  • iOS and Android app access
  • All newsletters + podcasts