23:04 GMT +305 December 2019
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    ‘Fault is Mine’: Elon Musk Apologizes for Calling British Diver ‘Pedo’

    © AP Photo / Ringo H.W. Chiu
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    The shareholders of Tesla have spoken up against the company’s CEO despite attempts to downplay the scandal.

    Elon Musk has taken to Twitter to apologize to British diver who assisted in the rescue of kids from the cave in Thailand for calling him a pedo after a group of Tesla investors had written a letter to him demanding an apology.

    "His actions against me do not justify my actions against him, and for that I apologize to Mr. Unsworth and to the companies I represent as leader," Musk said in a tweet that later disappeared from his page. "The fault is mine and mine alone."

    The Tesla CEO slammed the diver, Vernon Unsworth, on Twitter, as a "pedo guy" after the latter called Musk's trip to Thailand a "PR stunt."

    During his trip to Thailand, Musk offered to supply a child-sized submarine made of repurposed Falcon rocket parts, in order to assist the rescue operation, but his offer has been declined by the leaders of the operation. After that, Unsworth lashed at the Tesla CEO calling his offer a "PR Stunt," to which Musk replied on Twitter with a demand to prove with a video that his submarine won't work. Shortly thereafter, the CEO tweeted the company would prove it on their own.

    "Sorry pedo guy, you really did ask for it," Musk added in the tweet.

    The tweets were subsequently deleted, but as always, one does not simply delete something from the Internet: screenshots of the tweets can be found all across the social media now.

    Musk and Tesla attempted to downplay the situation later, ignoring requests for comments, the Guardian reports. However, the investors spoke up.

    James Anderson, Tesla's fourth-largest shareholder, reportedly told the Guardian in an email Tuesday that the company saw "the end of carbon as essential," but was "frustrated that the real steps towards this are being overshadowed and undermined by this saga."

    "This is different," he wrote, admitting that he agreed with some of Musk's remarks before. "We are in contact with the company and we are hopeful that it is being taken with due seriousness."

    Musk's inappropriate behavior "could have a dramatic negative impact on the company", says Gene Munster of Loup Ventures, a venture capital firm. "It has to start with an apology."

    Loup Ventures published an open letter to Musk on behalf of investors, saying the comments to Unsworth "crossed the line" and calling for an apology.

    "Over the last 6 months, there have been too many examples of concerning behavior that is shaking investor confidence," the letter says, according to the Guardian.

    Thailand cave search
    © AP Photo / Tham Luang Rescue Operation Center via AP)
    Jing Zhao, a minor shareholder who made headlines in April with a proposal to remove Musk from CEO office in favor of an independent director, said the CEO was being unprofessional and that it was "not his business" to travel to Thailand and try to directly solve the rescue challenges.

    According to Zhao, Musk could originally have "good intentions", but that "humanitarian rescues… are professional tasks so we should trust others with local community connections."

    "He should focus on his profession," Zhao said, reiterating his call to remove Musk from office. "He is not mature enough."

    Amid the controversy, one businesses have already stopped endorsing Tesla products. Solar Shed, a British renewable-energy company, said it would "no longer promote" Tesla products and called on other solar firms to join the protest.

    "All it takes is a public apology, Mr. Musk, and i will reverse our decision," the company's managing director wrote on Twitter.

    In his verbal attack, Elon Musk implied that the diver had moved to live in Thailand due to his sexual preferences. When one twitter user inquired whether Musk meant that the British diver, who found the children, was a pedophile, the Tesla CEO answered that he'd bet "a signed dollar" that it was true.


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    verbal attack, insult, apology, Tesla, Vernon Unsworth, Elon Musk, United States, United Kingdom, Thailand
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