The foundation that selected SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, conservative media mogul Rupert Murdoch and other honorees as recipients of an award named after Ruth Bader Ginsburg announced Monday it is canceling its award ceremony after receiving pushback from the late justice’s family.

Julie Opperman, chair of the Opperman Foundation, said in a statement “that the last thing we intended was to offend the family and friends of RBG.”

“Our purpose was only to remember her 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,” Opperman said.

The slate of this year’s honorees for the foundation’s “RBG Leadership” award, formerly the “Ruth Bader Ginsburg Women in Leadership” award, was announced last week and also included lifestyle icon Martha Stewart, actor Sylvester Stallone and financier Michael Milken.

Members of the Ginsburg family and a former clerk for the justice called on the foundation to pull her name off the award, with her son Jim Ginsburg telling CNN’s Paula Reid on Sunday that the choices of Musk and Murdoch were a “desecration of my mother’s memory.”

“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.

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.

Opperman’s statement said the foundation had broadened the pool of potential honorees to men and included leaders from various fields out of the belief that Ginsburg’s “teachings regarding EQUALITY should be practiced.”

“Keeping in mind that our goal is only to do good, the Foundation is not interested in creating controversy.  It is not interested in generating a debate about whether particular honorees are worthy or not,” she said. “And while Justice Ginsburg’s concept of EQUALITY for women was very controversial for most of her life, the Foundation does not intend to enter the fray.  Indeed, Justice Ginsburg was known for her civility.”


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