Actress and activist Alyssa Milano was roundly mocked on social media over the weekend for trading in her Tesla, produced by new Twitter owner Elon Musk, for a Volkswagen. Milano announced she made the move because of “white supremacy”, seemingly unaware that Volkswagen was the brainchild of Adolf Hitler and owned by the Nazi regime.
“I gave back my Tesla. I bought the VW ev. I love it,” Milano tweeted. “I’m not sure how advertisers can buy space on Twitter. Publicly traded company’s products being pushed in alignment with hate and white supremacy doesn’t seem to be a winning business model.”
Though Musk has been accused many times by censorship advocates of enabling “hate” and “white supremacy,” it remains unclear how that is apparent, and Musk’s detractors have yet to explain it. Instead, Musk has announced that removing child exploitation from the platform, which went largely ignored for years under Twitter’s previous management, is “priority #1”.
Social media users had a field day with Milano’s announcement.
“Volkswagen was literally founded by the Nazi’s and Hitler,” remarked political commentators the Hodgetwins, to which Musk responded with a laughing emoji and “100” mark.
“Nothing says ‘I’m concerned about white supremacy’ like buying a car from a company founded by the Nazi government,” writer Mark Hemingway tweeted. “To be clear I don’t think there’s anything problematic about buying a VW in the 21st century, but if you’re virtue signaling that would be a bigger deal than buying a car from the guy who fled South Africa to avoid being conscripted in their racist army.”
“Ferdinand Porsche, founder of Volkswagen, & friends,” captioned another user above a photo showing the automotive founder standing with Hitler.
Other users took the opportunity to remind others of the time when Milano posted photos of herself wearing a crocheted face mask, intimating the actress has a habit of making virtue signaling faux pas.
Yet other netizens pointed out that until it recently became in vogue to hate Elon Musk, Milano was the billionaire’s biggest fan.
“Dear [Elon Musk], my [Tesla Motors] model x just arrived,” she wrote in 2016. “Thank you for being a genius. I appreciate you. Respectfully, Alyssa.”
“Thank you, [Elon Musk] and [Tesla],” Milano wrote in 2017, quoting an NPR article reporting how Musk’s Tesla turned the power back on at a Puerto Rican children’s hospital.
“I am in awe of [Elon Musk] and I continue to be amazed by my [Tesla Motors]!” she tweeted in 2015.
“4 people you’d want to have dinner with? Dead or alive. Mine? Jesus, Roberto Clemente, john lennon, Elon Musk,” Milano wrote in 2015.
“I love you both,” she once tweeted to Elon Musk and actor William Shatner.