‘Wtf Elon! You can’t say s**t like this’: Musk’s fans have had ...

World

‘Wtf Elon! You can’t say s**t like this’: Musk’s fans have had enough

He’s always courted controversy but now he’s hurting his own brand. This is what his backers are saying

Olivia Rudgard

As investor calls go, it was an unusual one. Asked about cash flow at Tesla, his electric car company, last week, Elon Musk made a speech more suited to William Wallace than a 21st century technology executive.

Describing the San Francisco Bay Area’s extension of stay-at-home orders in response to the coronavirus pandemic as “fascist”, he finished with: “This is not democratic. This is not freedom. Give people back their goddamn freedom.”

More than possibly any other corporation on the planet, Tesla has a dedicated, enthusiastic fandom. Owners hang on to chief executive Elon Musk’s every word on Twitter, ask him about new products and hope to get a highly prized response. Unlike other chief executives, Musk, who has more than 33 million followers on the platform, has never confined himself to vanilla tweets about Tesla or SpaceX, his aerospace company. But in recent weeks he has found a new topic – the shutdown orders that have closed his US factories, the most long-running of which are in the San Francisco Bay Area, the location of Tesla’s Fremont factory...

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