Saturday Night Live cast members will not be forced to appear with Elon Musk when he guest hosts the show next month, according to a new report.
The billionaire Tesla and SpaceX CEO is set to front the NBC comedy show on 8 May, but some cast members have already expressed their displeasure at the appearance.
But they will not be made to perform next to Musk, who will become the first non-entertainer or athlete to host since Donald Trump, by show boss Lorne Michaels if they do not want to, an insider told The New York Post.
“Speaking historically, if a cast member has been that unhappy, they don’t have to do it,” a source told the newspaper.
“[‘SNL’ boss Lorne Michaels] won’t ever make them do anything they don’t want to do.”
Musk, who is the world’s second-richest person with a personal fortune of $175bn, received pushback after he tweeted “Let’s find out just how live Saturday Night Live really is.”
Cast member Bowen Yang posted a photo of the tweet, with the reply, “What the f**k does this even mean?”
And after the entrepreneur’s hosting gig was announced, cast member Aidy Bryant posted a retweet from Sen Bernie Sanders in which the lawmaker called it a “moral obscenity” that “the 50 wealthiest people in America today own more wealth than the bottom half of our people.”
Both of the social media posts have since been deleted.
Musk, a frequent Twitter user, has become a polarising figure with a loyal fanbase of tech and Tesla enthusiasts.
But he provoked controversy during the pandemic with his opinions on Covid-19 and the response of officials in California, which shut down Tesla’s production facilities.
The National Labor Relations Board also ordered Tesla to make Musk delete a tweet that was seen as threatening to labor organisers within the company after he threatened to take away stock options if they moved to unionise.
Pop star Miley Cyrus will be the musical guest on the show the night Musk is scheduled to host.