'Saturday Night Live' cast members will not be made to appear in controversial show hosted by Elon Musk

The news the billionaire Tesla founder would host the show was met with backlash online

(FILES) In this file photo taken on September 03, 2020 Tesla CEO Elon Musk gestures as he arrives to visit the construction site of the future US electric car giant Tesla, in Gruenheide near Berlin. Carmaker Tesla's "gigafactory" near Berlin will not open in July as planned due to changes in the building permit application, the region said on April 27, without giving a new date. / AFP / Odd ANDERSEN

Members of Saturday Night Live's regular cast will not be forced to perform alongside Elon Musk when he hosts the show next week, according to reports.

The Tesla and SpaceX founder and chief executive is set to host the show on Saturday, a move which has attracted much criticism from both fans and stars of the programme.

However, according to the New York Post, those who do not wish to perform alongside Musk will not be made to.

“Speaking historically, if a cast member has been that unhappy, they don’t have to do it,” a source told the newspaper.

"SNL boss Lorne Michaels won't ever make them do anything they don't want to do."

Musk drew further criticism after the show was announced, when he tweeted, "Let's find out just how live Saturday Night Live really is."

Cast member Bowen Yang posted a screenshot of the tweet, saying “What the … does this even mean?”, however, the tweet has since been deleted.

In the past, Musk, 49, has appeared in animated shows, such as The Simpsons, Rick and Morty and South Park, he has also made cameos in The Big Bang Theory and Iron Man 2, but he is not known for his acting.

Musk is also one of the few people not from the worlds of entertainment, sports or politics to host the long-running comedy show.

Historically, the billionaire has been criticised for his treatment of employees and his outspoken nature has landed him in trouble.

Fans of the show also voiced their disapproval on social media. "I thought SNL was an entertainment show. So because Musk is rich and famous, we get to see him pretend he has talent as a comedian? I really don't understand why SNL gives non-actors who would never get an acting job hosting duties. Is Pete Davidson going to run Tesla for a week?," one Twitter user wrote.

“Can we stop pretending billionaires belong in entertainment on that merit alone???,” another said.

Pop star Miley Cyrus is also set to appear on SNL the night that Musk hosts.