Elon Musk & Lisa Prank Fight Over Farting Unicorn Drawing

Kelly Sullivan/Joshua Lott/Getty

Elon Musk & Lisa Prank Fight Over Farting Unicorn Drawing

Kelly Sullivan/Joshua Lott/Getty

Robin Edwards is a Seattle musician who records sharp, catchy, really good pop-punk music under the name Lisa Prank. Her dad, Tom Edwards, is the Colorado-based artist and potter behind Wallyware Pottery. Elon Musk, Grimes’ new boyfriend, is the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX and a billionaire. All of these people are currently fighting over a drawing of a farting unicorn.

How did this happen? You see, since 2010, Tom Edwards has been selling a $28 mug that features an illustration of a unicorn farting into a tube to power a small car. “Electric cars are good for the environment because electricity comes from magic,” reads the text on the back of the mug. In February 2017, electric car maker Elon Musk tweeted a picture of the mug and declared that it might be his “favorite mug ever.” The attention gave Edwards’ a bump in sales from around the world, and at first, all was right with the universe.


Flash forward to a month later, when Musk was introducing Tesla cars’ new sketchpad feature, which allows drivers to draw on the cars’ touchscreen via an app. What did Musk tweet to promote the new feature? A copy of Edwards’ farting unicorn drawn on the Tesla sketchpad app.

Elon Musk

Made today on Tesla sketch pad pic.twitter.com/Z8dFP2NN41

March 30, 2017

At first, Edwards was going to let it slide, but then he found out that the image also appears as the icon for the app in Tesla’s operating system, and the company had even used it in a Christmas card holiday message to Tesla owners. “It’s part of their branding now,” Edwards told The Guardian in an interview yesterday. “I love the fact that it’s in the cars, but I just want them to do the right thing and pay me adequately for it. Elon Musk can be a hero for standing up for artists’ rights.”

So Edwards hired a lawyer to send a letter to Tesla’s general counsel. “Please don’t take this as a shakedown,” the attorney wrote. “What we are seeking instead is a discussion, and a mutual decision in a way to value the past and continuing use of the image, in a way that both sides can feel good about.”

Months later, after hearing nothing back, Edwards gave an interview about the incident with the local Denver paper Westword. And when his daughter, Robin Edwards of Lisa Prank, tweeted a link to the story at Elon Musk, they got into it on Twitter. “Have asked my team to use a diff example going forward. He can sue for money if he wants, but that’s kinda lame,” Musk tweeted at her in response. “If anything, this attention increased his mug sales… How much money does your Dad want for this terrible transgression?”

He also claimed that the image was “chosen randomly by software team as a joke (they didn’t tell me in advance)” and offered to “change it to something else if your Dad wants.” Musk has since deleted all of his tweets, including the original tweets about the mug from 2017. But you can find Robin Edwards’ tweets below. And you can still find the farting unicorn image in every single Tesla car.

Somehow, hilariously, J.K. Rowling and Vanessa Carlton have both gotten involved:

Care to weigh in, Grimes?

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