A leading gay-rights group that has praised Tesla’s treatment of its LGBTQ employees wants Elon Musk to apologize for mocking people who display their gender pronouns in their online bios.
The Human Rights Campaign reportedly weighed in on Musk’s latest controversy after he tried to defend himself from online criticism by invoking the organization’s Corporate Equality Index, an annual ranking that measures how friendly company policies are toward LGBTQ workers.
The HRC explicitly condemned Musk’s derogatory tweets about pronouns, saying its equality 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,” HRC president Alphonso David said in a statement. “It’s also decidedly out of step with the best practices we advise companies.”
“Elon Musk’s tweet mocking pronouns is exactly the opposite of what inclusive leadership looks like today,” HRC president Alphonso David told the network. “It’s also decidedly out of step with the best practices we advise companies.”
“Musk should apologize,” David added.
The dustup started when Tesla’s billionaire CEO posted a bizarre meme on Twitter Monday depicting a soldier smearing blood on his face and wearing a hat inscribed with the words, “I love to oppress.”
The image was captioned, “when you put he/him in your bio” — an apparent slap at people who display their preferred gender pronouns online, a common practice that shows support for people whose gender identities are different from those they were given at birth.
In response to an article criticizing the meme, Musk pointed out that the Human Rights Campaign has given Tesla several perfect scores on its equality index. “I absolutely support trans, but all these pronouns are an esthetic nightmare,” he tweeted Wednesday, sparking a firestorm of criticism.
Tesla scored 100 out of 100 on the HRC’s 2020 corporate equality ranking based on the company’s non-discrimination policies, benefits and practices — but those criteria alone “do not represent the entirety of what it takes to ensure a fully inclusive and welcoming environment,” the organization said.
“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,” said the group’s statement, which was first reported by CNBC on Thursday.
Tesla did not immediately respond to The Post’s request for comment Friday.