‘The Matrix’ co-director fires back at Elon Musk and Ivanka Trump for tweet reference

Keanu Reeves as Neo in "The Matrix."
(Jasin Boland / Warner Bros. Pictures)

“The Matrix” co-director and co-writer Lilly Wachowski doesn’t take too kindly to Republicans co-opting her film.

On Sunday, SpaceX chief executive Elon Musk tweeted, “Take the red pill,” a reference to an early scene in the first movie in the franchise when Neo (Keanu Reeves) is offered a choice between a red pill and a blue one. “Taken!” retweeted Ivanka Trump, daughter of President Trump.

In the film, taking a red pill represented revealing an unpleasant truth while taking a blue pill meant remaining in blissful ignorance. “The red pill” is frequently used on social media to signify waking up to conservative ideology — and is also the name of a misogynist subreddit group.

Wachowski fired back with an F-bomb, "... both of you” under Trump’s tweet. It quickly went viral, garnering more than 38,000 retweets and more than 194,000 likes and 5,000 comments in under 24 hours.


In a follow-up tweet, Wachowski encouraged Twitter users to donate to Brave Space Alliance, an organization that supports trans and gender-nonconforming people in the Chicago area.

Early in 2015, while promoting their movie “Jupiter Ascending,” the Wachowski siblings were sharing a drink with me at a Century City hotel, discussing how their lives had changed since Lana, the elder of the two, had come out publicly as transgender in 2012.

Wachowski, who co-wrote and co-directed the original trilogy with her sister Lana, is a writer on the Showtime comedy series “Work in Progress.” She is not involved in the upcoming “Matrix 4,” which is being written and directed solely by Lana Wachowski.

The two collaborated on the first three films in the series as well as the movies “Bound,” “Cloud Atlas” and “Jupiter Ascending.”

As of Monday morning, neither Musk nor Trump had publicly responded to Wachowski’s stinging response.