(NEXSTAR) – Twitter CEO Elon Musk is footing the bill for the Twitter Blue subscriptions of three big-name celebrities who refused to pay for the service.
On Thursday evening, Musk revealed that he’s paying for LeBron James, Stephen King, and William Shatner’s blue check marks himself. Earlier that day, Twitter purged those coveted marks from accounts that opted out of the subscription.
King wasn’t aware of the move until Musk alerted him of it.
“My Twitter account says I’ve subscribed to Twitter Blue. I haven’t. My Twitter account says I’ve given a phone number. I haven’t,” tweeted the author. “Just so you know.”
“You’re welcome namaste,” the Tesla CEO responded.
Back in October of 2022, when the idea of paying for the check mark was being kicked around, King wasn’t for it.
“[Expletive] that, they should pay me. If that gets instituted, I’m gone like Enron,” he tweeted. “It ain’t the money, it’s the principle of the thing,” he continued.
Musk then responded, “We need to pay the bills somehow! Twitter cannot rely entirely on advertisers. How about $8?”
So far, neither Shatner nor James has commented on Musk’s move, but the two have been vocal in the past about the changes to the social media platform.
“Welp guess my blue (check mark) will be gone soon cause if you know me I ain’t paying the 5,” James tweeted last month.
Weeks later, Shatner sent a tweet to Musk asking why he has to pay for the check mark he’s had for over a decade.
“I’ve been here for 15 years giving my (time) & witty thoughts all for bupkis,” tweeted Shatner. “Now you’re telling me that I have to pay for something you gave me for free? What is this — the Colombia Records & Tape Club?”
Kim Kardashian, Beyonce, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Henry Winkler, and Halle Berry were among the other celebrities that lost their verified marks on Thursday.
Perusing the platform, some big names have appeared to pay for the service, like former President Barack Obama and Taylor Swift.