Gwynne Shotwell Defends Elon Musk On Sexual Harassment Issues


SpaceX president Gwynne Shotwell emailed all company employees last week responding to reports of allegations of sexual harassment against CEO Elon Musk.

The email was first reported to CNBC and reviewed by The Verge. He confirmed that SpaceX has a “Zero Tolerance” policy against sexual harassment.

“Personally, I believe the accusations are false; not because I work for Elon Musk, but because I have worked with him for 20 years and have never seen or heard anything resembling these allegations,” Gwynne Shotwell wrote in an email, quoted from The Verge, Tuesday (24/5/2022). ).

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He added: “Anyone who knows Elon as I do, knows he will never commit or condone this inappropriate behavior.”

In his email to company employees, titled “Latest News Stories,” Shotwell argued that any allegations of harassment are taken very seriously, regardless of who was involved’ and SpaceX’s HR team investigates all claims it receives.

“For privacy reasons, I will never comment on any legal issues involving employment issues,” Shotwell wrote.

Last week, Business Insider published a report that said SpaceX paid $25,000 to a former company flight attendant after he accused Elon Musk of sexual harassment.

Musk denied the allegations, telling Insider that there was “a lot more to this kind of story” while calling the article a “politically motivated piece of hit.”

Regarding the fee of US $ 25,000, Shotwell did not explain this issue. Until this news rose, SpaceX had not provided detailed comments regarding allegations of sexual harassment involving Elon Musk.

SpaceX has a “no A-hole” policy when it comes to employee behavior. In December 2021, a former SpaceX employee wrote an essay in Lioness alleging that he had been the target of rampant sexual harassment at the company and that HR had done little to address his claims.

The Verge spoke to four former SpaceX employees who supported the essay and described a culture of sexual harassment that HR did not address.

Days before the essay’s publication, Shotwell emailed SpaceX employees about the company’s “zero tolerance” policy on harassment and its “no A-hole” policy. He also encourages employees to report if they experience harassment.

“Timely harassment reporting is key to keeping SpaceX a great place to work; we can’t fix what we don’t know,” Shotwell wrote in an email sent in December.

“If you become aware of, or experience any act of harassment or discrimination, please report it to your manager or HR representative,” he stressed in an email.

“We can always do better. That’s why HR seeks input from groups across the company to ensure the process is effective. HR will also conduct an internal audit, followed by a third party audit,” Shotwell concluded.

Elon Musk Denies Allegations of Sexual Harassment of Flight Attendants, Says There is a Political Motive
Elo Musk has been accused of sexually harassing a flight attendant on his private jet. SpaceX is even said to have paid $25,000 to the flight attendant to keep his mouth shut.

According to Insider, the incident occurred in 2016 and the company settled with an unnamed flight attendant in 2018, according to a friend of the flight attendant who was notified simultaneously of the incident.

Regarding the allegations, Elon Musk said “there are many more stories like this,” but he did not elaborate.

“If I was inclined to engage in sexual harassment, this would not be the first time in my 30-year career that this has come to light,” he said.

Elon Musk said on Twitter that this was not true and called the unidentified flight attendant a liar.

“For the record, these wild accusations are completely untrue,” Elon Musk tweeted.

“But I have a challenge for liars who claim their friends saw me “exposed”–describe only one thing, anything (scars, tattoos, …) that the public doesn’t know. He won’t be able to do it, because it never happened,” he continued.

According to Insider, citing documents and interviews, the SpaceX boss is also accused of “rubbing” the flight attendant’s feet without permission and offering to buy him a horse if he gives her an erotic massage on board.

Reportedly, this incident occurred in a cabin, on one of Musk’s planes during his flight to London.

Insider said the flight attendant, who was known to be a horse rider, reportedly refused and

complete the massage session without engaging in any sexual intercourse.

In 2018, SpaceX was said to have paid the flight attendant up to $250,000 to “close” a sexual harassment claim against Elon Musk.

Regarding the allegations, the SpaceX CEO called the Insider report “a piece of a politically motivated hit.”

According to The Verge, Musk had previously tweeted that “political attacks” on him would “increase dramatically in the coming months.”

In addition, Grimes’ ex-lover also said he would become a victim of a “dirty trick campaign.”

“If I’m accused of engaging in sexual harassment, it wouldn’t be the first time in my 30-year career that the spotlight is on,” Musk told Insider.

Furthermore, Musk also wrote his rebuttal through another tweet on his Twitter, @elonmusk, following the circulation of this news.

“Attacks on me have to be seen through a political lens – this is their standard (despicable) guideline – but nothing will stand in the way of me fighting for a good future and your right to free speech,” he said.

“And for the record, the wild accusations are completely untrue,” he added in another Tweet. Meanwhile, SpaceX has not yet commented on the Insider news.