"SpaceX is Elon, and Elon is SpaceX."

Red Flags

The corporate culture at SpaceX is such a frat house, Bloomberg reports, that a leaked company video shows a female staff member instructing another on how to spank the butt of Brian Bjelde, now the vice president for human resources.

"We have a very strict sexual-harassment policy," a voiceover says during the clip, as reported by Bloomberg, "and you’ve got to get it right."

While the gag was meant in jest, its wild inappropriateness perfectly encapsulates the poisonous and misogynistic atmosphere at the commercial aerospace firm, former employees say. And presiding over it all is CEO Elon Musk, who has had improper relations with several employees at his various companies.

Horse Play

One of those include a SpaceX flight attendant who accused Musk of exposing his penis to her and groping her leg. He also offered her a horse in exchange for a massage.

After complaining of his unwanted and creepy advances, SpaceX handed over $250,000 to settle the case with the woman.

Disgruntled employees at SpaceX then penned an open letter asking for Musk and others to be held accountable for any inappropriate actions.

But higher-ups at SpaceX, including the former spankee Bjelde, punished several of the letter writers by getting them fired, according to Bloomberg.

Afterwards, SpaceX vice president Jon Edwards sent employees a chilling message: "SpaceX is Elon, and Elon is SpaceX."

Toxic Avenger

Last month, fired employees filed a lawsuit against Musk and SpaceX in California, accusing him and the company execs of encouraging an awful work environment where anything goes.

"Musk knowingly and purposefully created an unwelcome hostile work environment based upon his conduct of interjecting into the workplace vile sexual photographs, memes, and commentary that demeaned women and/or the LGBTQ+ community," the filing says, as reported by Bloomberg last month.

But Musk and company have sandbagged the lawsuit so far with a counterattack against the National Labor Relations Board over the case of the fired employees, claiming that the board is unconstitutional.

And Musk has been trying to rig the case in his favor by putting the suit against NLRB in Texas, where more conservative judges might be more likely to rule in SpaceX's favor.

If that comes to pass, who will keep Musk accountable?

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