01:47 - Source: CNN
'She'd be appalled': RBG's son reacts to recipients of award named for his mother
CNN  — 

The son of the late liberal Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said Sunday that giving an award bearing his mother’s name to SpaceX CEO Elon Musk and conservative media mogul Rupert Murdoch is a “desecration of my mother’s memory.”

“I don’t want to speak to what our other plans might be if the foundation doesn’t see the wisdom of desisting and ending this desecration of my mother’s memory, but I will say that we will continue to fight this,” Jim Ginsburg told Paula Reid on “CNN Newsroom.”

Ginsburg’s family recently sent a letter to the Opperman Foundation, which bestows the award and is not affiliated with the family, blasting the selection of this year’s nominees and requesting her name be taken off the award.

The Ginsburg award “celebrates leaders who have demonstrated extraordinary accomplishments in their chosen fields,” according to the foundation. The award “has previously recognized women of distinction” but was expanded this year to include men and women.

In addition to Musk and Murdoch, lifestyle icon Martha Stewart, actor Sylvester Stallone and financier Michael Milken are also 2024 recipients of the award. The 2023 honoree was Barbra Streisand.

Asked whether he took exception to men now being included in the award or to the recipients themselves, Jim Ginsburg said, “Well, we could discuss that, but yeah, the particular awardees, and we can discuss the wisdom of each one, but the two that obviously stand out here are Elon Musk and Rupert Murdoch.”

“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,” he said.

“I think she’d be appalled,” he later told Reid.

The Opperman Foundation did not respond to an inquiry Friday from CNN. CNN also reached out Sunday night for comment on Jim Ginsburg’s interview.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a longtime liberal member of the high court who died at age 87 in 2020, consistently delivered progressive votes on major social issues, including abortion rights, same-sex marriage and immigration.

The Opperman Foundation described the 2024 award recipients as ranging from “path-breaking innovators to seasoned veterans across a broad range of professions and industries.”

In the announcement, the foundation said Stewart was on Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s “original wish list of potential honorees.” The organization credited Musk’s “stratospheric accomplishments” and Murdoch as “the most iconic living legend in media.”

But Jim Ginsburg said the honorees don’t represent what his mother stood for.

“I think these are people who pretty much stand against all the things that she stood for in terms of trying to … make the world a better place, for people striving for equality and for a more inclusive world where everybody is treated with respect,” he added.

CNN’s Tierney Sneed contributed to this report.