3 reasons why 'Succession' tech bro Lukas Matsson is Elon Musk crossed with Daniel Ek
"Succession" fans are waiting to find out if tech mogul Lukas Matsson wins control of Waystar.
Viewers say the character seems to resemble aspects of both Elon Musk and Spotify CEO Daniel Ek.
Alexander Skarsgard has said Matsson is based on an "amalgamation" of figures in the tech sector.
The very last episode of "Succession" airs Sunday night on HBO and we'll finally learn if Swedish tech mogul Lukas Matsson does win control of the Roy family's media empire.
Alexander Skarsgard plays Matsson, the billionaire CEO of tech streaming media giant GoJo – a socially awkward, vaguely sinister tech bro. Just as the Roy family is based on media power players like the Murdochs, Matsson shares many similarities with major figures in the tech world.
Skarsgard has said Matsson is based on an "amalgamation" of different tech figures. But viewers have been pointing out the character's similarities to two bosses in particular — Elon Musk, and Spotify CEO Daniel Ek.
The actor even addressed the theories in an interview with Rolling Stone.
"I definitely didn't try to play an Elon Musk character," Skarsgard said. "It wouldn't be interesting to say, 'I'm playing Elon Musk!' That's not what I went for. There's a lot of Elon Musk out there.
"I'm sure I've been inspired by some things I've seen [Elon] do and other tech giants do, but I didn't go for that type of character."
Many viewers also see Matsson's Scandinavian roots as a nod to Daniel Ek, the Swede who founded Spotify and became a billionaire. Ek was young when he founded the popular streaming platform, and like Matsson, he appears to have much bigger ambitions.
1. Matsson also wants to rule the world by taking over a US media giant
Matsson wants to control a media empire with global influence.
The GoJo chief struck a deal with Logan Roy to acquire his media company, Waystar Royco, before his death. In the fourth and final season, Logan's sons Roman and Kendall have been attempting to kill the deal.
The storyline is almost the reverse of Musk's chaotic acquisition of Twitter after Musk spent months trying to back out of the deal.
Ek also has one eye on the media sector. In 2020, Spotify spent $200 million buying "The Ringer" podcast and media company founded by Bill Simmons.
Since taking over the company, Musk's also been flexing Twitter's media influence. Twitter is one of the biggest sources of news and heavily used by journalists but, in recent months, Musk has been pushing to elevate "citizen journalism" and breaking major news on the platform.
Florida governor Ron DeSantis also declared he was running for president on Twitter this week.
2. Unusual dealings with employees
Matsson has a strange relationship with his head of communications, Ebba, which included the totally normal decision to send her frozen bricks of his blood.
He tells the youngest Roy offspring, Shiv (Sarah Snook), that the bizarre and unsolicited mail began as a joke after the two separated. Ebba "got a bit weirded out" by his offerings, Matsson added.
Before Shiv could give her advice, Matsson tells her he'll just deny everything, "call bullshit and just lawyer it out."
Musk has also had unusual dealings with at least one of his employees.
In August, Insider reported that Musk had fathered twins with an executive at Neuralink, his brain chip company. The executive, Shivon Zilis, reportedly told colleagues that the children were conceived by IVF and they did not have a romantic relationship.
Ek, meanwhile, has been accused of being insensitive towards his staff at Spotify. In a memo announcing that the company was making layoffs, Ek said changes would let him do his best work and focus on Spotify's future. Leadership experts said the comment could appear tone-deaf and unsympathetic.
3. Liberal use of Twitter
Musk is infamous for his heavy use of Twitter.
The billionaire uses the platform to pontificate on trends, and make comments than can sometimes affect Tesla's share price, such as his much-scrutinized 2018 "funding secured" tweet about taking Tesla private.
Musk has also used Twitter to attack former employees and, at least once, spread unfounded conspiracy theories.
Matsson seems to take a similar approach when it comes to Twitter.
In one recent episode of "Succession," Matsson tweets a "very nasty joke" after Kendall Roy's presentation about the Living+ initiative because he's less than pleased about the move. The tweet made a reference to the Holocaust and causes a stir for Waystar before it was deleted.
Tech CEOs have a reputation for being socially awkward and out of touch and "Succession's" Matsson is no exception.
Musk, Ek, or just a masterful mash-up of industry stereotypes, the character of Matsson doesn't do anything to diminish the idea that many tech bros are a bit weird, have too much money – and maybe too much power as well.
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