Following their performance at “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve,” pop-punk band Green Day was recently the target of a lighthearted criticism from Tesla CEO Elon Musk. Billie Joe Armstrong, the vocalist of the group, changed the lyrics of their 2004 hit song “American Idiot” to parody former President Donald Trump’s “MAGA agenda” during the event.
Musk, who is renowned for speaking his mind, posted a social media commentary regarding the band’s performance. With laughing emojis throughout his message, he mockingly charged Green Day of abandoning their initial anti-establishment position in favor of the establishment.
Green Day has a long history of vocally opposing conservative ideologies. The band was founded in the East Bay of California in 1987. Armstrong labeled Trump’s supporters as “poor, working-class people who can’t get a leg up” and compared Trump to Adolf Hitler in an interview with Kerrang! magazine. Armstrong further accused Trump of playing on their rage.
Armstrong is hardly the first to criticize Trump. He showed his contempt for the former president in 2018 at a concert in France, drawing a comparison between his loathing of Trump and his earlier criticism of George W. Bush. His sentiments for Trump, he said, were different and more intense—like “acid gone bad.”
This most recent episode is a continuation of the ongoing cultural and political conversation in the United States, in which public personalities and celebrities often voice their political opinions and criticisms, frequently eliciting retorts and rejoinders from other prominent characters such as Musk.
Musk’s response to Green Day’s performance serves as a reminder of how social media, politics, and entertainment intertwine in today’s public conversation.