Elon Musk is Time Magazine’s 2021 Person of the Year: ugh or nope?


‘Tis the season for end-of-year listicles, which is why Time Magazine has parcelled out it’s Person of the Year covers. Simone Biles was named the Athlete of the Year. Olivia Rodrigo was named the Entertainer of the Year. And Time Magazine’s 2021 Person of the Year was just revealed this morning: Elon Musk. The fanboys at Time Magazine need to get a grip. Musk is currently worth $300 billion, meaning he’s richer than Jeff Bezos and arguably the richest man in the world (as he says, excluding sovereigns). His wealth is mostly tied up in Tesla and SpaceX. He’s also anti-union, pro-cryptocurrency and he abandoned his latest baby-mama (Grimes) this year. Oh, and he hosted SNL. Please allow Time Magazine to explain their terrible choice:

For nearly a century, TIME has named a Person of the Year—the individual or group who most shaped the previous 12 months, for better or for worse. 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. In 2021, Musk emerged not just as the world’s richest person but also as perhaps the richest example of a massive shift in our society. From Amazon’s Jeff Bezos to Facebook turned Meta’s Mark Zuckerberg, the year brought home the extent to which, at a time of rising protest over ever deepening inequality, our lives and many of the basic structures around them are now shaped by the pursuits, products and priorities of the world’s wealthiest people.

Even in that rarefied crowd, Musk is in a class of his own. He sees his mission as solving the globe’s most intractable challenges, along the way disrupting multiple industries across two decades. These include what was once the core American creation, combustion-engine automobiles, and what was once the core American aspiration, spaceflight, as well as a litany of other manifestations of our present and future: infrastructure construction, artificial intelligence, neurotechnology, payment systems and increasingly money itself through his dalliances with cryptocurrencies.

As provocative as his vision is his persona, a blunt instrument that often seems to revel in division and aggressive mockery as he gives the world access to his id through social media.

… Should we fall short with Earth, Musk’s answer is space, where he envisions “a futuristic Noah’s ark.” His SpaceX is the global commercial leader in building and flying rockets and crews, chosen by NASA to build the ship that aims to place astronauts back on the moon for the first time in more than 50 years. Musk’s rough timeline for that is three years, with two more years to land on Mars. The key, he says as matter-of-factly as the rest of us might say the time of day, is making spacefaring rockets as reusable as airplanes.

[From Time]

Pass. I get that Elon Musk represents a POTY choice for the incredibly stupid era in which we all live now, but no. I don’t even consider him some kind of oddball savant, he’s mostly just annoying and overhyped. People – mostly men – love him because he’s the Joe Rogan of billionaires. The rest of us loathe him.




Covers courtesy of Time, additional photos courtesy of Avalon Red, NBC.

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37 Responses to “Elon Musk is Time Magazine’s 2021 Person of the Year: ugh or nope?”

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  1. Eurydice says:

    Well, Ayatollah Khomeini and Arafat and Putin were also Persons of the Year, as were Zuckerberg and Bezos and Ted Turner, and George Bush and Nixon, even Wallis Simpson. So, why not Musk?

    • Selene says:

      Yes, people seem to forget that it’s based on impact, whether good or bad. However, I understand the sentiment that being selected seems like you’re being positively lauded.

    • SuSuSusio says:

      Ugh *and* nope.

      What actual impact has he had on the world, good or bad? He’s made tons of money, paid no taxes on it and given his child an attention-thirsty name.

      Big whoop.

    • Case says:

      Thank you, I came to say this. Hitler was also named Person of the Year. TIME doesn’t choose people based on whether they’re good people, they choose them based on how they’ve impacted and shaped our world, for better OR for worse. It says that right at the beginning of the quote cited. It’s not commentary on them believing Elon Musk is a great dude, or means that the editors at TIME are dudebros.

      • HelloDolly! says:

        I can still hate the selection process! LOL.

        I went from wanting to own a Tesla to loathing Musk and his company based on his actions, sound bytes, etc. He forced his bay area workers to continue working through multiple outbreaks at his factory, argues against masks and charitable giving for world hunger, doesn’t want to pay public taxes despite being incredibly wealthy and moves to a state that supports anti-women and immigration policies, has familial ties to apartheid, makes public bonehead announcements that affect the health of his company, and more. The list goes on. I just can’t with him.

    • Nievie says:

      I urge you all to listen to ‘Behind the Bastards’ podcast- episode ‘I do not like Elon Musk very much’ featuring quotes from former wives and employees.

  2. Amy Bee says:

    A terrible and lazy choice by Time.

  3. equality says:

    So he has a detailed plan on how to make Mars inhabitable and to grow food there? Or he has a toy rocket that he takes to the edge of space to amuse his friends and paying guests? Why not try working on plans and actions to make this planet better? Or is he only concerned with saving his elite group by evacuating them elsewhere? Tell him to get going then and not return.

  4. Emily says:


  5. milliemollie says:

    I hate Elon Musk. Thanks for coming to my Ted Talk.

  6. Jessie Quinton says:

    My eyes rolled far so back I think I saw my brain.

  7. TIFFANY says:

    Person of the Year can be a flex or not.

    Him getting it isn’t the flex he thinks it is.

  8. JerseyCow says:

    Wealthy, privileged white man succeeds due government subsidies & the work of others. Truly a hero for the ages 🙄

    • Korra says:

      And same man turns around to advocate against government assistance that would help working class people who need it more than him. He was also outed by a certain dumpster fire governor as agreeing with outlawing abortion (hint: not the sociopathic pig in Florida, the other one). So yeah, greatest mind of the 21st century, apparently.

  9. Valerie says:


  10. Swack says:


  11. Emma says:

    The most intractable issues of our times are poverty, hunger, and disease. We are in a pandemic, hello.

    Going to the moon or creating unsustainable overhyped electric cars or trolling on Twitter does not help. It’s pure ego.

  12. Acal says:

    He’s also built his success off of POC scientists under his employ and treats them like garbage.

    He’s trash and I hate him

  13. Kviby says:

    Badiucao would have been a good choice for positive impact. People are saying that the impact doesn’t have to be positive, and giving those past “winners” as evidence and I get that. But is that concept only for the main person? Because Biles and Rodrigo are pretty respected and beloved minus perhaps some trolls.

  14. Marla Singer says:

    Gross. He is against unions and aid to help people while he gets bailed out. Barf. No thank you. Can’t wait for another car company to compete with him

  15. Tess says:

    I worked in product innovation and I think he is really smart. When you consider him just a human being, there is a lot of stuff he has to deal with. And a lot of what the media did to him in recent years resambles what we are seeing playing out with the Royals. The establishment is here to destroy all the good news.

  16. SharonA says:

    L’il Nas X was robbed as Entertainer of the Year!

  17. minx says:

    Disgusting person and butt ugly to boot.

  18. Ac says:

    Horrible choice! 🤮

  19. MoonTheLoon says:

    Dear lord, we’ll never be rid of this narcissistic arse now.

  20. Tate says:

    Gross 🤮

  21. Emily says:

    Yay Simone Biles. Her impact goes far beyond athletics with the conversation she led around mental health, in sport and more generally. Love her.

  22. trace_smiles says:

    If Time judge this on impact, good, bad or otherwise, I would argue that the scientists that lead the development of the COVID vaccines would have had the most overwhelming impact this year.

  23. Well Wisher says:

    Person of the year is Officer Eugene Goodman.

  24. MurphyBrown says:

    They must’ve been desperate this year. This is grasping at straws. What about Dr Fauci or Angela Merkel?