A leading gay rights organization that has lauded Tesla for its treatment of LGBTQ staffers is demanding that founder Elon Musk apologize for mocking users online who include their preferred gender pronouns in their bios.
The Human Rights Campaign lashed out at Musk’s “mocking” of pronouns after he attempted to defend his comments against criticism online by citing the group’s Corporate Equality Index, which is an annual ranking of how favorable company policies are for LGBTQ employees.
Specifically, the organization blasted Musk’s tweets regarding the inclusion of gender pronouns, saying it’s index scorecard “is not a cover for poor personal behavior.”
“Elon Musk’s tweet mocking pronouns is exactly the opposite of what inclusive leadership looks like today,” said HRC president Alphonso David in a statement, CNBC reported. “It’s also decidedly out of step with the best practices we advise companies. Musk should apologize.
Earlier this week, Musk tweeted what appears to be a gif of a Revolutionary War-era British soldier rubbing blood on his face with the words “when you put he/him in ur bio.”
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 14, 2020
The soldier’s hat bore the words: “I love to oppress.”
“The Corporate Equality Index (CEI) is a comprehensive measurement of workplace non-discrimination policies, practices and benefits critical to the full protection and inclusion of LGBTQ workers. Tesla scored a 100 on the 2020 CEI based on this crucial foundation of inclusive non-discrimination policies and benefits,” the HRC said in a statement.
“No benchmarking tool can fully account for the day-to-day experiences of LGBTQ workers. The CEI criteria alone are necessary foundations for LGBTQ inclusion but do not represent the entirety of what it takes to ensure a fully inclusive and welcoming environment. The CEI is not a cover for poor personal behavior, and HRC condemns Musk’s tweets mocking pronouns,” the group added.
“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 noted further.
This latest dust-up certainly isn’t Musk’s first controversy. The $150 billion man turned heads in the spring in push back against California coronavirus restrictions ordering his Palo Alto plant to close. Musk filed suit against Alameda County officials and threatened to relocate Tesla’s operations to Texas.
“Frankly, this is the final straw,” he said in a May tweet. “Tesla will now move its HQ and future programs to Texas/Nevada immediately. If we even retain Fremont manufacturing activity at all, it will be dependen [sic] on how Tesla is treated in the future. Tesla is the last carmaker left in CA.”
Earlier this month, Musk told The Wall Street Journal that he has, in fact, pulled up stakes in California and officially moved to Texas after complaining that the Golden State took innovators for granted.
The paper didn’t report where in Texas Musk relocated, but Tesla is building a factory near Austin, CBS San Francisco reported.
Musk compared the current business climate in California to an over-confident sports franchise.
“They (successful sports teams) do tend to get a little complacent, a little entitled, and then they don’t win the championship anymore,” he said. “(California) has been winning for a long time. And I think they’re taking them for granted a little bit.”
The report noted further that Hewlett Packard Enterprise announced in November the company would be moving its headquarters from San Jose, Calif., to the Houston area. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s office said that the firm would open its new HQ in the city suburb of Spring in 2022.
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