Billionaire tech mogul Elon Musk has rubbed more than a few Americans the wrong way with his recent remarks on various hot-button topics.
As it turns out, several employees of his company SpaceX had some points of criticism that they believed the world deserved to hear.
Shortly after releasing a condemnatory open letter, however, Musk appeared to have the last word.
According to CNN:
Trending: BO POLNY DELETED!
Private rocket company SpaceX fired at least five employees after it found they had drafted and circulated a letter criticizing founder Elon Musk and urging executives to make the firm’s culture more inclusive, two people familiar with the matter said.
SpaceX did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.
The New York Times reported on Thursday that SpaceX had fired employees associated with the letter, citing three employees with knowledge of the situation. It had not detailed the number of employees who had been dismissed.
SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell sent an email saying the company had investigated and “terminated a number of employees involved” with the letter, the New York Times said.
While plenty of Musk fans supported the decision, a number of prominent critics took the opportunity to describe the free-speech advocate as a hypocrite.
BREAKING: SpaceX has fired a group of employees for writing an open letter complaining about Elon Musk. The only thing Elon Musk supports more than freedom of expression is hypocrisy.
— Steve Hofstetter (@SteveHofstetter) June 19, 2022
NEW: SpaceX has fired employees who helped write and circulate an open letter criticizing Elon Musk's public behavior and tweeting.
The latest evidence that Elon Musk doesn’t care about “free speech” — he only cares about promoting hate speech.
— Kaivan Shroff (@KaivanShroff) June 17, 2022
When CEOs complain about stuff, it’s free speech, but when workers complain about the CEO creating distractions from the work, it’s a fireable offense. https://t.co/CvizoL1jiZ
— Matt Pearce 🦅 (@mattdpearce) June 17, 2022
BREAKING: SpaceX fires numerous workers for criticizing billionaire boss Elon Musk's asinine public behavior as an "embarrassment" — proving that all of his vocal support for "free speech" is just a farce to help right-wingers. RT IF YOU THINK THAT ELON MUSK IS A COWARD!
— Occupy Democrats (@OccupyDemocrats) June 17, 2022
As Karol Markowicz wrote in a recent New York Post op-ed, however, such criticism is unfounded:
But isn’t Elon Musk supposed to be a “free speech absolutist?” screech his critics. As I explain to my small children, freedom of speech under the First Amendment means the government can’t arrest you for calling the president a doofus.
It doesn’t mean you can do the same to your boss and expect to remain employed. (Similarly, you can’t tell your wife she’s ugly and then plead “free speech!” when she gets mad and leaves you for the pool boy.)
In the following video, Musk explains the motivation behind many of his revolutionary ideas: