Elon Musk, a sexual harassment case paid off, and toxic workplaces SpaceX and Tesla

The world’s richest man has been accused of sexually harassing a SpaceX corporate flight attendant. What happened?

 |  4-minute read |   20-05-2022
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The world’s richest man Elon Musk, who commands a cult-like following across the globe, is facing sexual harassment allegations. This time, the scandal surrounding Elon Musk is not because of his tweets, but something much more serious and criminal. 

musk-647_052022012500.jpgElon Musk has been accused of sexually harassing a SpaceX corporate flight attendant. File Photo: Getty Images

WHAT ARE THE ALLEGATIONS?

Business Insider came out with a bombshell report on May 20, 2022. The report claimed that Elon Musk sexually harassed a SpaceX corporate flight attendant in 2016. It also says that Musk and his Space company bought the victim’s silence for $250,000 (approx. Rs 1.93 crore) in 2018.

The report is based on the claims made by an unnamed friend of an unnamed victim. Business Insider says it is aware of both their identities.

What happened?

  • After the victim took up the flight attendant job, she was “encouraged to get licensed as a masseuse” in order to be able to give Musk massages.
  • During a massage session “in a private cabin on Musk’s Gulfstream G650ER” the Tesla and SpaceX boss asked for sexual favours from her.
  • Business Insider reported that Elon Musk "exposed his genitals", "touched her (the victim) and offered to buy her a horse if she would 'do more,' referring to the performance of sex acts."
  • The victim was paid off and had to sign a non-disclosure agreement to not sue the company and Musk with her claims.

WHAT ELON MUSK HAS SAID:

Elon Musk had a lot to say, as he told Business Insider, “There’s a lot more to the story.”

"If I were inclined to engage in sexual harassment, this is unlikely to be the first time in my entire 30-year career that it comes to light," Business Insider quoted Musk.

Musk has vehemently denied the allegations, and not just denied the allegations as baseless, but he has gone far and out to discredit the story.

While it is usual for Musk to be critical of the governments and government agencies (especially the US SEC) in his tweets, he has almost never outright talked ‘politics’ or ‘political parties’, except, right before the bombshell report came out.  

May 18, 2022: Musk tweeted that ‘political attacks’ against him are going to intensify in the coming months.

May 19, 2022: Musk in a series of tweets on Democrats and Republicans, criticised the former and claimed that ‘far left’ will take out a hate campaign against him.

With his tweets, it seems like he almost predicted a hate campaign against him. However, the truth is that he did not predict it as much as he tried to discredit the allegations. Of course, Elon Musk knew of the story, since Business Insider contacted him in advance for his comments. Twitterati was quick to point it out.

Besides the allegations, Twitterati is split in two – one side supporting Musk, calling the allegations baseless; and the other criticising him for muzzling free speech and trying to discredit the story.

This is the first such sexual allegation against Elon Musk.

However, his companies Tesla and SpaceX have been accused of furthering predatory behaviour.

SEXUAL HARASSMENT AT SPACEX

1. In 2021, at least 5 former SpaceX employees spoke out about the rampant sexual harassment prevalent in the company.

2. It started when Ashley Kosak, a former employee, wrote an essay detailing instances when she was groped and when male co-workers made untoward sexual advances at her.

3. The former employees told The Verge that SpaceX was like a boys' club, where women were hugged without consent and catcalling was prevalent.

4. Not just SpaceX, Elon Musk’s EV car maker company Tesla was called a ‘frat house’ by a former employee.

5. In another case, Tesla was forced to pay $137 million to a former employee who alleged racial abuse at one of its factories.

6. Six former women employees from Tesla also filed a lawsuit against the company for its “sexual harassment” culture.

7. When the Tesla sexual harassment allegations came out, Elon Musk also infamously tweeted a picture of a whistle saying, “Blow the whistle on Tesla,” as if mocking the allegations.

8. Some of Elon Musk's tweets like the "TITS" university joke kind of parallel the kind of work-sexual harassment culture that his companies foster. 

While Elon Musk claims sexual harassment allegations against him are “political”, he’s never had trouble blatantly calling other people, who speak against him, sexual offenders. Remember the 'Thailand pedo guy' incident?

Anyways, Elon Musk says he’s got political all of a sudden to prevent the “woke mind virus” from reaching Mars. It seems like the red planet is in danger of becoming a “frat house” of Elon Musk’s boys' club.

You never know Musk might have taken 'Men are from Mars' a little too seriously.  

Writer

Amrutha Pagad Amrutha Pagad @amrutha_pagad

Amrutha loves writing on Humour, Politics, Environment and Gender. She is a Senior Sub editor at DailyO.

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