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Pressure mounts for Elon Musk to finally issue an apology for sharing childish ‘transphobic’ meme mocking pronouns

Matilda Davies December 18, 2020
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Elon Musk shrugs against a black background during a conference

Elon Musk, founder and chief engineer of SpaceX. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

The Human Rights Campaign has called for Elon Musk to apologise for recent ‘transphobic’ tweets.

The Tesla CEO shared a series of tweets making fun of people who put their pronouns in their bio on social media.

The tweet contained a meme of a British Redcoat smearing blood on his face and read: “When you put he/him in [yo]ur bio”.

He later followed this up, tweeting: “I absolutely support trans, but all these pronouns are an [a]esthetic nightmare.”

The Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index gave Musk’s company, Tesla, a score of 100 per cent earlier this year.

Now, that group says Musk should apologise.

“Musk’s insensitive comments stand completely contrary to what HRC’s Workplace Equality Program works with companies each day to create – providing employees a safe, inclusive, and fair work environment,” the group wrote in response to an inquiry from CNBC.

The organisation’s president Alphonso David added: “Elon Musk’s tweet mocking pronouns is exactly the opposite of what inclusive leadership looks like today. It’s also decidedly out of step with the best practices we advise companies.

“Musk should apologise.”

The Human Rights Campaign gave Tesla a perfect score on its Corporate Equality Index

Despite its perfect score this year, Tesla has previously come under fire for its treatment of LGBT+ employees.

Jorge Ferro, who worked on the assembly line, filed a lawsuit in 2017 with accusations of homophobia in the workplace. The suit claims that Ferro’s supervisor “suggest[ed] that [Ferro] had a lot of enemies because ‘everyone suspects that [he is] gay'”.

He claimed his supervisor told him to “watch his back” after calling his clothing “gay tight”.

He also said a HR representative told him that “there’s no place for handicapped people at Tesla”.

The lawsuit said that Tesla failed to stop the harassment and punished Ferro for making the complaint in the first place.

The company has previously been accused of being a “hotbed for racist behaviour”. Owen Diaz, another former employee, also filed a lawsuit accusing the company of not protecting him from racial harassment.

Tesla hit back against these charges, saying in a statement: “There is no company on earth with a better track record than Tesla.”

This isn’t the first time Elon Musk has been accused of transphobia on Twitter

Earlier this year, he tweeted that “pronouns suck”. His partner, Grimes, called him out publicly for spreading “hate”.

Grimes has previously spoken about identifying as “gender neutral” and says they are “impartial to pronouns for myself”.

They tweeted: “I wish I didn’t have to be categorised as female constantly. Everything I ever hear about Grimes is super gendered and it’s always really made me uncomfortable.”

Grimes has also spoken publicly about practicing gender-neutral parenting with their child, X Æ A-Xii.

In a YouTube livestream, they said: “I don’t want to gender them in case that’s not how they feel in their life.”

During the stream, they refused to speak about the sex of the baby. However, Elon Musk later tweeted that the child was a boy.

 

Related topics: corporate equality index, elon musk, Grimes, Human Rights Campaign, tesla

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