Elon Musk was confronted by a Tesla investor with a trans child over the mogul’s comments on preferred pronouns — with the shareholder accusing the billionaire of “punching down” on a vulnerable group before he was allegedly booted from the public Twitter chat.

Earl Banning, an active-duty Air Force neuropsychologist based in Anchorage, Alaska, told Musk during a Twitter Space for investors on Thursday that he was disappointed that the billionaire was “crapping on pronouns.”

“It’s not always directly related to what you say, but kind of some of the opinions or attention you draw to things like pronouns or something like that. And it’s just, it’s sad for me to watch that happen,” Banning said.

Banning, who is behind the #FrunkPuppy trend, which encourages snapping pics of animals in Tesla cars, noted that he has a daughter and a trans child, both of whom now had “mixed feelings” about owning a Model X.

Musk — who also has a trans daughter — recently came under fire for mocking preferred pronouns in a dig at the outgoing director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Dr. Anthony Fauci. 

Elon Musk was confronted on his recent comments about gender pronouns by a Tesla investor Thursday.
NTB/AFP via Getty Images

“My pronouns are Prosecute/Fauci,” the Space X founder tweeted on Dec. 11.

When Banning told Musk that he was also concerned the new Twitter CEO was alienating more liberal users, Musk retorted that he was “not going to sort of suppress my views just to boost the stock price.”

“Elon, you don’t hate trans people, do you?” the moderator clarified.

Musk said he did not, but continued to say that it bothered him “that people will use pronouns to just be super judgmental.”

“To me feels like a lot of these things are a shield that allow people to be a–holes, like a moral shield that where they just give them an excuse to be an a–hole and that’s, that’s what that bothers me,” he explained.

Banning then pushed back on Musk’s stance, saying he was “punching down to a really marginalized group.”

“My kid is just trying to have, like, their pronoun used in school and stuff and it’s, like, you know, then you have this really rich popular person, like, crapping on pronouns,” Banning continued before being cut off by Musk, who asked the moderator to move on to the next question.

In a follow-up tweet after the incident, Banning said that his child thought it was “cool that…I spoke up but…I got to talk to [Musk].”

Speaking to The Post on Friday, Banning claimed he was removed from the Twitter Space after Musk’s interruption, “so the conversation ended.”

“Other callers had lots of time. Uninterrupted. But my time ended,” Banning said. 

“I hope that at least I planted a seed and Elon hears long-term fans are impacted by some of his tweets. Maybe [he’ll] think a little more.”

Banning also told The Post that he did not intend to address Musk’s opinions on pronouns in the meeting. 

“I was asking if he ever worried that his tweets might alienate the center and the left. Then I shared my personal story that happened to involve pronouns,” he explained.

“I have no idea how Elon feels about trans people. He says he supports them but hasn’t said anything positive about trans kids,” Banning continued, noting that Musk’s trans daughter, Vivian Jenna Wilson, recently changed her name to avoid being associated with her mogul father.

Vivian, 18, is one of Musk’s five children with his first wife, Canadian author Jennifer Wilson. 

Ina recent interview with the Financial Times, Musk blamed “full-on communist” rhetoric at universities for the family’s estrangement.

“I absolutely support trans,” Musk previously tweeted in Dec. 2020. “But all these pronouns are an esthetic nightmare.”

Banning said he’s been disappointed with Musk’s recent antics.

“I miss the version of Elon that was more focused on climate change and cool cars,” Banning said.


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