Watch: Elon Musk’s bizarre, virtual interview by candlelight at the B20 Summit in Bali

Some people were stoked to hear that Elon Musk, the Tesla CEO and new “Chief Twit” at Twitter, would be attending the B20 Summit of global business leaders in Bali, taking place now ahead of the G20 Summit of world leaders.

But apparently, Musk’s plate was too full for him to make the trip to the Island of the Gods, so he appeared on the B20 stage virtually for a bizarre and somewhat awkward interview this morning with moderator Anindya Bakrie, the Chairman of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s Supervisory Board.

The panel began with Musk explaining that they had just experienced a power outage at his location three minutes before the start of the call. “That’s why I’m bizarrely in the dark,” he said to the laughs of the audience. He did not disclose his location.

Bakrie then praised Musk for wearing the “batik bomba” shirt that B20 organizers had sent him, noting that it was from a small village in Central Sulawesi, a place Musk might want to visit because “they have a lot of nickel there” (nickel, of course, being an essential component to electric car batteries).

Bakrie then joked that, if he was facing the kind of headlines that Musk has been generating lately, he’d want to take a trip to Bali to get away and relax for a bit. Musk said he would have loved to come but “my workload has recently increased quite a lot.”

“I have too much work on my plate, that’s for sure.”

Moving on to the “elephant in the room”, Musk’s recent contentious takeover of Twitter, Bakrie asked, “How does it feel to be a media mogul?” 

After a long pause, Musk objected to the question slightly, saying Twitter is a medium more than media, but then added, “There’s no way to make everybody happy, that’s for sure.”

Asked about what developing countries like Indonesia, which has a strong presence on Twitter, can expect from the social media platform in the future, Musk didn’t offer a direct answer but said that Indonesia’s demographics made it exciting and that he was “bullish” on the country’s prospects. 

Musk also reiterated some ideas for features he had previously said that Twitter would focus on, including longer videos and more options for content creators to monetize through the platform. 

Around this point in the interview Musk’s face seems to turn red from the lighting around him and he interrupts an answer to mention how bizarre the video looks.

“You look like you’re in a dark place,” Bakrie commented.

“I’m sitting in the dark surrounded by candles,” Musk said with a laugh.

The rest of the interview covered topics including Indonesia’s potential to be a center for global decarbonization efforts, hopes for Tesla to make more lower-priced vehicles, using Space X rockets for terrestrial travel, and his vision for humanity becoming a space-faring species that colonizes other planets and how to solve traffic problems (Musk said “tunnels are underappreciated”  — that’s a joke apparently).

Today is the last day of the B20. US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping are expected to meet in Bali later today ahead of the G20 Summit, which starts tomorrow.

Read also:

G20: Foreign commentators face backlash over uncultured tweets mocking traditional Indonesian clothes 
As world leaders gather in Bali for the G20 Summit, taking place yesterday and today, public discourse criticizing and even mocking them is to be expected. But did that vitriol… Read more.
G20: Foreign commentators face backlash over uncultured tweets mocking traditional Indonesian clothes 
As world leaders gather in Bali for the G20 Summit, taking place yesterday and today, public discourse criticizing and even mocking them is to be expected. But did that vitriol… Read more.

Subscribe to the WTF is Up in Southeast Asia + Hong Kong podcast to get our take on the top trending news and pop culture from the region every Thursday!



Reader Interactions

Leave A Reply


BECOME A COCO+ MEMBER

Support local news and join a community of like-minded
“Coconauts” across Southeast Asia and Hong Kong.

Join Now
Coconuts TV
Our latest and greatest original videos
Subscribe on

MOST POPULAR