Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is going to space in less than a month as Blue Origin’s first passenger. The trip is supposed to be only a few minutes long at an altitude just beyond Earth’s atmosphere. But a lot of people already don’t want him back. Multiple internet petitions seeking to deny Bezos’s re-entry to Earth have collected tens of thousands of signatures in the weeks since he announced the big trip.
A frontrunner, titled “Do not allow Jeff Bezos to return to Earth,” launched on Change.org two weeks ago, has collected more than 44,000 signatures. “Billionaires should not exist,” the description read. “On Earth, or in space, but should they decide the latter they should stay there.”
A similar petition launched around the same time has gained over 20,000 signatures. “Jeff Bezos is actually Lex Luthor, disguised as the supposed owner of a super successful online retail store. However, he’s actually an evil overlord hellbent on global domination,” wrote the petition’s organizer, Jose Ortiz. “It’s the only way they’ll allow him to leave the atmosphere. Meanwhile, our government stands by and lets it happen.”
The momentum has even sparked unexpected interest in some truly bizarre campaigns. A trending petition on Change.org this week, backed by over 11,000 signatures, is calling for Bezos to purchase and eat the “Mona Lisa.” The petition was created over a year ago but didn’t start capturing attention until recently.
“Amazon was in the headlines again, and we started talking about how Jeff Bezos should buy the Mona Lisa, just because he has the money to do it, because that would make a huge statement,” the petition’s organizer, Kane Powell, told Vice in an interview.
Another old petition that has resurfaced lately is calling Bezos to pay off Puerto Rico’s national debt. “Puerto Rico has a $74 billion dollar debt,” the description read. “Jeff Bezos can pay that in full and still be one of the world’s richest men.” The campaign has collected more than 3,000 signatures.
Bezos is set to ride on Blue Origin’s maiden crewed flight on July 20 aboard a New Shepard rocket. The rocket has been tested more than a dozen times but never with a passenger on board.
Bezos will be flying along with his younger brother, Mark Bezos, one auction winner who recently bought a seat on the flight for $28 million, and an unnamed fourth crew member.