March 24, 2023

Country star John Rich eviscerated Elton John for seemingly going along with the Hollywood crowd. Rich saw the situation as “abandoning free speech.”

John Rich, who rose to fame as part of the country duo Big & Rich, is once again making headlines. In 2022, Rich made “the earth shake beneath Nashville” when he decided to bypass the traditional music industry and release his song Progress via “two fledgling free-speech social media platforms,” Truth Social and the Rumble video community.

Rich’s song, which blasted “tyrants running this country,” soared to No. 1 on the Apple iTunes chart, and the country singer chalked it up to free speech. “When I’m talking about them shutting down our voices, I’m talking about Twitter and YouTube and Facebook,” Rich said in an interview about his decision to stay away from the “woke” platforms.

However, after Elon Musk acquired Twitter, Rich believed “free speech” had made a comeback while many celebrities left the platform in droves.

The billionaire CEO claimed he lifted the veil on the “shadow-banning” of conservative users, and that caused a backlash. Prominent celebrities protested the new ownership by deactivating their profiles, including Elton John, who explained his exodus from Twitter.

“All my life I’ve tried to use music to bring people together.

Yet it saddens me to see how misinformation is now being used to divide our world,” John wrote. “I’ve decided to no longer use Twitter, given their recent change in policy which will allow misinformation to flourish unchecked.”

John Rich fired back at the Rocket Man singer. “Shouldn’t you stay so you can put a ‘check’ on the ‘misinformation’ you’re so worried about? Don’t be so weak,” the conservative country star posted. Even Elon Musk himself addressed the singer’s departure.

“I love your music. Hope you come back,” Musk wrote. “Is there any misinformation in particular that you’re concerned about?”

However, the music icon, who was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II, did not reply to Musk or Rich. The Candle In The Wind singer’s comments come after Musk, who bought the social media outlet for $44b, said he was granting “general amnesty” for suspended accounts, which critics allege would enable “superspreaders of hate” to return to the platform, Breitbart reported.

A long list of celebrities abandoned Twitter as a “protest” over Musk’s attitude toward free speech which they claimed was dangerous. Whoopi Goldberg, Jim Carrey, Sondra Rhimes, Toni Braxton, Ken Olin, and American supermodel Gigi Hadid, just to name a few, have all left citing concerns with the billionaire. After Musk reinstated former President Donald Trump’s account, White Stripes vocalist and guitarist Jack White deleted his account, calling the Tesla CEO “absolutely disgusting” and claiming he only restored Trump’s account because he hates paying taxes.

In Gigi Hadid’s departure announcement, she referred to Twitter under Elon Musk as a “cesspool of hate and bigotry.”

Music producer Trent Reznor also declared he needed to delete his Twitter account for his “mental health” and that Musk’s takeover of the social media platform is an “embarrassment.”

Americans were quick to call out Elton John, who had performed at conservative icon Rush Limbaugh’s wedding.

Elton actually agreed to play at Rush Limbaugh’s wedding,” one critic wrote. “That shocked me because he’s so liberal. Follow the money I suppose. He doesn’t appreciate free speech. If he did he would value what Elon Musk has revealed about the former heads of Twitter.”

Another agreed with those remarks: “My thoughts, exactly, when I read this. He sold out to play for Rush. He’s just selling out, again. Miss Rush much. Elton, not so much.”

One commenter claimed many celebrities would eventually return to Twitter. “They’re showing what they are FINALLY!” Stephanie Payne posted. “They simply cannot stand disagreement and pushback against their loony ideas/comments.

And like nuts who can’t be out of the public eye very long, many will come back.” Another appreciated Elton John’s music but not his politics. “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road has always been a classic, but as with many celebrities, he does not know which way is up when it comes to the real world these days. Twitter has been a tool of disinformation for years,” they wrote.

Elon Musk carried out an investigation into Twitter’s practices by tapping journalists Matt Tabbi and Bari Weiss, who were chosen because they have no allegiance or obligation to anyone but themselves, The Hill reported.

Several prominent conservatives including podcast star and Fox News host Dan Bongino, Turning Point USA’s Charlie Kirk, the Libs of Tik Tok, and actor James Woods were found to be on a “Trends Blacklist,” confirming Twitter had been engaging in the practice of “shadow-banning” certain individuals.

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