Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Clear Day 82° Clear
News >  Nation/World

SpaceX Workers Write Letter to Executives With Concerns About Elon Musk’s Tweets

June 16, 2022 Updated Thu., June 16, 2022 at 12:13 p.m.

Elon Musk, founder of SpaceX, speaks to reporters with the company's Falcon Heavy rocket standing by at Launch Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., Feb. 5, 2018. Employees at SpaceX have written an open letter in June 2022 denouncing the behavior of Musk, the company's chief executive, following recently publicized allegations of sexual misconduct against him.   (Todd Anderson/The New York Times)
Elon Musk, founder of SpaceX, speaks to reporters with the company's Falcon Heavy rocket standing by at Launch Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., Feb. 5, 2018. Employees at SpaceX have written an open letter in June 2022 denouncing the behavior of Musk, the company's chief executive, following recently publicized allegations of sexual misconduct against him.  (Todd Anderson/The New York Times)
By Ryan Mac The New York Times

Employees at SpaceX have written an open letter denouncing the behavior of CEO Elon Musk after recently publicized allegations of sexual misconduct against him.

“Elon’s behavior in the public sphere is a frequent source of distraction and embarrassment for us, particularly in recent weeks,” read the letter, which was obtained by The New York Times. “As our CEO and most prominent spokesperson, Elon is seen as the face of SpaceX — every tweet that Elon sends is a de facto public statement by the company.”

The letter comes amid the billionaire’s contentious $44 billion acquisition of Twitter. On Thursday, Musk addressed Twitter employees for the first time via a video call to explain his vision for the company after he completes the deal, which he has expressed some reservations about doing.

A SpaceX spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment about the letter. The Verge first reported on the document.

In May, Insider reported that a flight attendant said Musk propositioned her for a sexual massage during a flight to London in 2016. The flight attendant said he also exposed himself to her and offered her a horse, according to the article, the details of which were not independently verified by the Times.

After that report, Musk called the story “utterly untrue” and made jokes about horses and his genitalia on Twitter. Last month, Gwynne Shotwell, SpaceX’s president and chief operating officer, wrote an email to employees saying she “personally” believed that the sexual harassment allegations against Musk were false.

“Anyone who knows Elon like I do, knows he would never conduct or condone this alleged inappropriate behavior,” she wrote in the email.

It is unclear how many people have signed the open letter at SpaceX. The letter outlines several demands, including the public condemnation of “Elon’s harmful Twitter behavior” and establishing clear definitions of all forms of unacceptable behavior at the rocket maker.

“It is critical to make clear to our teams and to our potential talent pool that his messaging does not reflect our work, our mission or our values,” the letter read. “SpaceX must swiftly and explicitly separate itself from Elon’s personal brand.”

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Local journalism is essential.

Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.

Active Person

Subscribe now to get breaking news alerts in your email inbox

Get breaking news delivered to your inbox as it happens.