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Elon Musk and Rupert Murdoch Will No Longer Receive RBG Leadership Award Following Backlash from Her Family

“When you think of trying to create a more just society, which of course was Mom’s ultimate goal, those are probably about the last names that would come to mind,” Ginsburg's son James told CNN

<p>Theo Wargo/WireImage; Steven Ferdman/Getty Images</p> Elon Musk and Rupert Murdoch were initially set to be honored with a leadership award named after late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Theo Wargo/WireImage; Steven Ferdman/Getty Images

Elon Musk and Rupert Murdoch were initially set to be honored with a leadership award named after late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

The family of Ruth Bader Ginsburg announced this week that a ceremony to honor Elon Musk and Rupert Murdoch with an award in the late Supreme Court justice's name has been canceled.

Last week, the Dwight D. Opperman Foundation announced that "five iconic individuals" would be honored with the RBG Leadership Award in a ceremony held at the Library of Congress on April 13. Among them were Musk, the controversial Tesla founder and CEO of SpaceX, and Murdoch, the longtime chairman of Fox and News Corps.

Musk was set to be honored for his entrepreneurship, while Murdoch was to be awarded for his career as a media mogul. The others set to receive the award are Sylvester Stallone, Martha Stewart and financier Michael Milken.

Related: Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Supreme Court Justice and Liberal Icon, Dies at 87

News that Musk and Murdoch would be among this year's honorees angered their critics, including members of Ginsburg's own family. RBG's son, James Ginsburg, told CNN, “When you think of trying to create a more just society, which of course was Mom’s ultimate goal, those are probably about the last names that would come to mind."

Barbra Streisand, who previously won the award, also criticized the move, sharing a post to Instagram that read: "I join the Ginsburg family in condemning the choice of honorees this year. I had the privilege of meeting Justice Ginsburg on several occasions, and I strongly doubt she would approve of these awardees.”

<p>Tom Brenner / Stringer / Getty Images</p> upreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg delivers remarks at the Georgetown Law Center on September 12, 2019, in Washington, DC.

Tom Brenner / Stringer / Getty Images

upreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg delivers remarks at the Georgetown Law Center on September 12, 2019, in Washington, DC.

In a statement released Monday, the Opperman Foundation announced it had canceled the award ceremony altogether following the outcry.

In their statement, the foundation said, “Our purpose was only to remember [Ginsburg] and to honor her leadership. And, while we believe each of the honorees is worthy of our respect for their leadership and their notable contributions, the Foundation has decided that the planned ceremony in April 2024 will be canceled.”

The statement added: “The last thing we intended was to offend the family and friends of RBG."

Related: Inspiring Children's Book Brings Story of RBG's Youth to Life: 'Even I Learned Something,' Says Granddaughter

Ginsburg was the second woman and first Jewish woman appointed to the Supreme Court, becoming an icon to admirers of the court’s liberal wing in her later years. She died in September 2020 at age 87.

Musk, meanwhile, has courted controversy in recent years, particularly since acquiring social media platform Twitter, which he renamed X. He has used his platform to endorse Republican candidates and promote conspiracy theories, and in late 2023 he was condemned for making antisemitic comments.

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Murdoch is also no stranger to controversy, having overseen Fox News during the 2020 election and the ensuing $1.6 billion lawsuit brought against the network by voting equipment company Dominion Voting Systems, which was the subject of conspiracies of widespread election fraud and other wrongdoing in the wake of the presidential election.

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