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SpaceX employees fired following open internal letter denouncing Elon Musk

Allegedly at least five employees were fired following the release of a letter which called Musk's behavior a 'frequent source of distraction and embarrassment.'

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If you listen to Elon Musk’s ongoing musings regarding his attempt to acquire Twitter, the billionaire has often said it is about protecting and promoting free speech, a policy which Musk has claimed extends to his own previous companies like Tesla and SpaceX. Well, that last one was apparently put to the test and came out with questionable results. Reportedly, at least five SpaceX employees have been fired after releasing an internal open letter at SpaceX denouncing Musk’s recent public behavior.

The open letter that went around at SpaceX was previously acquired by The Verge, while the recent firing were reported by the New York Times. Reportedly, the letter was penned toward SpaceX’s company executives and signed by an unknown number of anonymous SpaceX employees. It decries Elon Musk’s behavior, claiming he is a constant distraction to the work the company is trying to do.

“Elon’s behavior in the public sphere is a frequent source of distraction and embarrassment for us, particularly in recent weeks,” the letter states.

Elon Musk has argued that free speech is a core component of his desire to acquire Twitter, and that sentiment extends to employees at companies like Tesla and SpaceX.
Elon Musk has argued that free speech is a core component of his desire to acquire Twitter, and that sentiment extends to employees at companies like Tesla and SpaceX.

The letter goes on to say that Musk’s very public behavior is highly effective on public view of the company and brings further concern to employees who have to deal with that public view:

“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 continues. “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.”

This letter comes amid the fact that Elon Musk has been pushing free speech as a key component of his desire to buy Twitter. During a recent Twitter all-hands meeting, Elon Musk even went as far as to defend user’s supposed rights to say racist things on the social media platform. He also claimed that level of free speech applies to his employees.

That apparently might not be entirely true, at least when it comes to being critical of the billionaire. SpaceX nor Musk had shared commentary on these firings at the time of the story. Stay tuned as we continue to follow for further updates.

Senior News Editor

TJ Denzer is a player and writer with a passion for games that has dominated a lifetime. He found his way to the Shacknews roster in late 2019 and has worked his way to Senior News Editor since. Between news coverage, he also aides notably in livestream projects like the indie game-focused Indie-licious, the Shacknews Stimulus Games, and the Shacknews Dump. You can reach him at tj.denzer@shacknews.com and also find him on Twitter @JohnnyChugs.

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