The transformation of Lilly Wachowski: Why the 'Matrix' director told Elon Musk, Ivanka to 'f**k off'
A lot has changed for Lilly Wachowski since 'The Matrix' released in 1999, especially after she came out as a transgender woman in 2016
One of the best science fiction films of all time, 'The Matrix', has a massive fan following, including Tesla CEO Elon Musk and first daughter Ivanka Trump. The two decided to make a sly reference from the movie on social media, but for filmmaker Lilly Wachowski, it was a bitter pill to swallow. In a cryptic tweet, Musk tweeted the Matrix-inspired dialogue, "Take the red pill," alongside a rose emoji, and two hours later, Ivanka retweeted the remark, adding, "Taken!" Expressing her chagrin, Wachowski commented: "F**k both of you."
The red pill reference is from the movie plot where Neo (Keanu Reeves) is offered a blue and red pill by Morpheus (Lawrence Fishburne). If Neo chooses the blue one, he will no longer have any memory and will live in the simulation. But, if he takes the red pill, he will wake up in reality. Since its release, many viewers have attributed deeper themes to the story and the red pill is connected to taking a politically right path.
No sooner did Lilly blast both of them for using her film reference, fans on Twitter hailed the director as a "hero". "And what would you know about red pills and blue pills, it's not like you invented the concept, oh," one fan said, and another wrote, "Also Ivanka and Elon can have each other because they’re both terrible." One even went on to say, "The worst part of this is: If they'd actually paid attention to the movies, they wouldn't have hijacked that metaphor. On the other hand: Being imprisoned in their very own imaginary wonderland is actually pretty close to what the right-wing is."
After the first movie released in 1999, a lot has changed for Wachowski. Born in 1967 as Andrew Paul Wachowski, Lilly graduated from Whitney Young High School in 1985 and former classmates remember the two sisters playing Dungeons & Dragons and actively participating in the school's theater and TV group. Lilly has also been credited for films like 'V For Vendetta', 'Cloud Atlas', Netflix series 'Sense8' and Showtime's 'Work in Progress'.
In 1991, the filmmaker got hitched to Alisa Blasingame but she came out as a transgender woman in 2016. In a statement to Windy City Times, she had said, "Having the support of my family and the means to afford doctors and therapists has given me the chance to actually survive this process. Transgender people without support, means, and privilege do not have this luxury. And many do not survive."
In the same interview, Lilly said that Blasingame had accepted it. "Everyone is cool with it," she wrote. "Yes, thanks to my fabulous sister they’ve done it before, but also because they’re fantastic people." In 2019, Lilly opened up about moving in with partner Mickey Ray Mahoney, a trans man and a professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Lilly's sister Lana, meanwhile, was the first major Hollywood director to come out as transgender in 2012. While accepting a GLAAD Award in 2016, Lilly said, “There’s a critical eye being cast back on Lana and I’s work through the lens of our transness. This is a cool thing because it’s an excellent reminder that art is never static. And while the ideas of identity and transformation are critical components in our work, the bedrock that all ideas rest upon is love.”
At a TV Foundation event in 2019, Lilly said, “In the film business, as a trans person, I was always looking content and wanting something else, wanting something different. In all of our films, we always strove to take oddball films in the way that we cast our shows.” The filmmaker added, “We all have to break the f***ing door down and tell our stories because it’s about education. It’s about having a voice. All of the storytellers up here and all of the storytellers in this room, it’s a part of this larger conversation that we’re having when we’re finding the language to talk about ourselves. It’s about empathy. It’s about listening. We have to learn how to listen to each other.”
In all these years, Lilly has made a strong impact on the world with her transformation from the male ‘Matrix’ director to a crusader for transgenders and we hope it continues for many more years.