Luring industry to your town can involve "sweetening the pot," as in giving corporations tax breaks to bring in factories and jobs. Often the gain in jobs does not offset the loss in tax revenue, but that's not the only way to gain a CEO's attention. In order to lure a Tesla Cybertruck factory to Tulsa, they've repainted a 75-foot statue of an oilman, called The Golden Driller, to resemble Tesla's founder Elon Musk!
The gargantuan statue, unveiled earlier this week at a community event and on Bynum’s social media, now features a red Tesla logo painted on its chest. The Driller’s 48-foot belt, which once read “TULSA,” was changed to read “TESLA.” If you squint, the statue’s head now looks like a low-budget YouTube cartoon of Musk. “I was told onsite it was an ‘Elon Musk Face Skin,’” one worker wrote on Facebook. “It went on like a fruit roll-up.”
“It’s this weird, ghostly, white mask-like thing,” said Lucas Wrench, a 28-year-old Tulsa Artist Fellow, who runs an arts space called OK #1. “It sort of looks like if you FaceSwapped with some creature. I just couldn’t believe it. I’m shocked at how transparent it is—the kind of a symbol they created in putting this enormous billionaire, literally a giant towering billionaire in Tulsa—the lack of self-awareness. They’re groveling.”