'He's a rich, arrogant guy who cares about nothing but his money': Some Tesla workers slam Elon Musk after he went on a rant calling stay-at-home orders 'fascist'

Diego Donamaria/Getty Images for SXSWTesla CEO Elon Musk.
  • Tesla CEO Elon Musk drew some criticism by saying the response to the spread of COVID-19 has been overblown.
  • On Wednesday, Musk called shelter-in-place orders made in some US states to slow the spread of the disease “fascist” and akin to imprisonment.
  • Four Tesla employees gave Business Insider their reactions to Musk’s comments.
  • Are you a current or former Tesla employee? Do you have an opinion about what it’s like to work there? Contact this reporter at [email protected]. You can also reach out on Signal at 646-768-4712 or email this reporter’s encrypted address at [email protected].
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Tesla CEOElon Musk has spurred controversy and attracted criticism from health experts by saying in recent months that the reaction to the spread of COVID-19 has been overblown.

On Wednesday, Musk made what were perhaps his most combative remarks to date about the response to the disease, calling the shelter-in-place orders made by some US states “fascist” and akin to imprisonment.

“It’s breaking people’s freedoms in ways that are horrible and wrong and not why they came to America or built this country. What the f—,” Musk said during Tesla‘s first-quarter earnings call.

Musk’s remarks evoked a range of reactions on Twitter and among his own employees. Four Tesla employees shared with Business Insider their reactions to Musk’s comments. Each of them requested anonymity due to a fear of reprisal from Tesla, but their identities are known to Business Insider.

Here’s what they said.

Tesla did not respond to a request for comment.

Are you a current or former Tesla employee? Do you have an opinion about what it’s like to work there? Contact this reporter at [email protected]. You can also reach out on Signal at 646-768-4712 or email this reporter’s encrypted address at [email protected].


“I don’t feel like I’m being forced to stay home or that my freedom has been taken away”

Aaron Bernstein / ReutersElon Musk.

“I’m for going back to work, but only if it is safe for me, my family, coworkers,” said one production employee at Tesla’s Fremont, California, car factory. “I don’t feel like I’m being forced to stay home or that my freedom has been taken away. It’s for the good of California.”

“I don’t trust Tesla in keeping workers safe,” they added. “It’s always been about building cars and side-stepping workers’ safety. Safety has never been the number-one priority at Tesla.”


“He’s a rich, arrogant guy who cares about nothing but his money”

Mark J. Terrill / Associated PressElon Musk.

“He’s a rich, arrogant guy who cares about nothing but his money,” said an assembly-line worker at the Fremont factory. “The comments he makes are dumb, and I don’t think he thinks things over before he says them.”


“Let the people choose if they want to stay home”

Mark Brake / Getty ImagesElon Musk.

“With the new antibody test results coming out, I agree with him,” a vehicle-service employee said. “Let the people choose if they want to stay home. This isn’t as dangerous as we originally thought, and the BS arrests that have been made in public areas where the people are nowhere near anyone else just fuels the fire.”

According to the San Francisco Bay Area NBC affiliate, KNTV, police have made at least 59 arrests while enforcing the region’s stay-at-home order.


“Elon’s behaviour and statements, as well as tweets, are embarrassing and sad”

REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File PhotoElon Musk.

“Elon’s behaviour and statements, as well as tweets, are embarrassing and sad,” said a production employee at the Fremont factory. “This is extremely scary for employees that want to protect loved ones while the CEO doesn’t care and actively protests against the government whose actions have been keeping our families safe!”

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