Insider revealed this week that SpaceX agreed in 2018 to pay $250,000 as part of a settlement arising from a claim of sexual harassment perpetrated by Elon Musk, the company’s founder and CEO. That harassment was apparently perpetrated against a flight attendant onboard one of SpaceX’s corporate jets. Sara Nelson, who serves as president of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (a union), rhetorically blasted Musk after the news of this situation broke.
“Musk’s alleged actions in the cabin are a stark reminder of why Flight Attendants first organized 76 years ago: to beat back discrimination and sexual harassment/ assault by claiming our power to put misogyny and the privileged corporate class of men in check,” Nelson said. “Musk believes that money gives him the right to do anything that he pleases, regardless of the rights, humanity, or protestations of others. The fact that he required flight attendants to become licensed masseuses on their own dime demonstrates what we see all too often — the super rich think they own everything and have to pay for nothing. This attitude is all too common to flight attendants and is something all workers have had to deal with from day one… [We] will not allow Elon Musk and his friends to continue treating workers as second class or disposable characters in their play station.”
LONDON (AP) — Musk says deal to buy Twitter can’t go forward unless company can show that less than 5% of accounts are fake or spam.
— Jonathan Lemire (@JonLemire) May 17, 2022
In the original incident, which took place in 2016 according to accounts, Musk requested a massage from the targeted attendant while on a flight to London. When the attendant went to Musk’s room aboard the aircraft, Musk “was completely naked except for a sheet covering the lower half of his body,” according to an account provided by a friend of the attendant. (The then-attendant is bound by a non-disclosure agreement.) Musk is said to have then exposed himself, touched the attendant, and sought to pressure her into sex acts.
Musk could have conditioned his deal on an audit of Twitter and the percentage of fake accounts. He chose not to do so.
What we are watching in real time is an example of how the elite view capitalism: a game where they get to change the rules whenever it suits them
— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) May 17, 2022
There are other facets to the situation as well. After the attendant refused to go along with what Musk wanted, she felt like she was being retaliated against on the job — apparently, work opportunities provided to her lessened after the incident. The attendant “started to feel as if she was receiving some sort of retaliation where her shifts were cut back,” that friend said. In addition, the attendant was evidently pushed to obtain a massage license at her own expense, although it’s not immediately clear whether she did so. But, the friend explained, her superiors “implied that she would get to fly more often if she were to do this because she’d be able to give Elon proper massages.” So, per that account, work opportunities were at least partly dependent on getting that training. Musk, unsurprisingly, has denied what’s said to have happened, although it’s worth noting that he evidently took it seriously — he personally attended a mediation session where settlement details were seemingly hashed out. Obviously this is just conjecture, but taking it seriously suggests truth to the story.
See Nelson’s full statement by clicking on the post below:
Full statement. pic.twitter.com/EbBzlTNoip
— Sara Nelson (@FlyingWithSara) May 21, 2022