Elon Musk mocks wheelchair-bound Twitter employee, then apologizes
Elon Musk apologizes to the disabled Twitter employee on whom he had joked in a series of tweets. “I would like to apologize to Haraldur Thorleifsson for not understanding the situation.” “I was based on things that had been told to me that are not true,” Musk tweeted after he had mocked him on social media a few hours earlier.
Thorleifsson, suffering from muscular dystrophy and confined to a wheelchair, had written on Twitter that he hadn’t been able to connect his computer to the social network for nine days and that the company’s human resources had not been able to tell him if he was still a employee or not. A tweet to which Musk replied by questioning his illness and his work. “This guy, who is well off, doesn’t work and claims as an excuse that he has a disability that prevents him from typing but not tweeting,” Musk wrote before apologizing.
At that point Thorleifsson said that he had had muscular dystrophy for twenty years, a degenerative disease that forced him into a wheelchair, and that when he writes for two hours he then has to stop because his hands cramp. To confirm what he had just said, the Icelandic also published a photo of him and told of other effects of his illness on everyday life. “I can write for an hour or two – he added – but this hasn’t been a problem with Twitter, since my job was largely to help the teams carry on their work, giving them strategic and tactical advice” . The posts written on the social network, he explained, were possible because using his cell phone he was able to write with just one finger. The man, after founding a creative company, then sold to Twitter in 2021, received recognition from the United Nations and the presidency of Iceland for leading a non-profit that built a thousand access ramps in Reykjavik. to facilitate the mobility of people confined to wheelchairs.
It’s not the first time the billionaire has made fun of ex-employees venting on Twitter. One of these had been defined by him as a “tragic case of an adult with Tourette’s”, a reference to the syndrome that leads those affected to repeated and uncontrollable movements.