Elon Musk criticized DEI; now Tesla is ditching that language



    After declaring last year that diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) programs should “die,” Tesla CEO Elon Musk is apparently doing his part to kill them.

    In Tesla’s latest 10-K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission this week, the electric vehicle giant struck references to such initiatives that it had included before, signaling that the automaker is taking a different approach in the wake of the chief executive’s criticisms. 

    TSLA CEO Elon Musk

    Elon Musk, chairman and chief executive officer of Tesla Motors Inc., gestures as he speaks during a news conference in Fremont, California, U.S., on Tuesday, September 29, 2015.  ((David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images) / Getty Images)

    The language cut from last year’s filing under the human capital resources section, which was first reported by Bloomberg, touted Tesla’s diverse workforce. 

    “At Tesla, our employees show up passionate about making a difference in the world and for each other,” the now-omitted paragraph began. “With a majority-minority workforce, empowering our employee resource groups to take charge in driving initiatives that attract, develop and retain our passionate workforce is vital to our continued success.”


    But Tesla’s removal of direct references to DEI occurred previously. The company’s 2021 10-K states, “We also believe that our ability to retain our workforce is dependent on our ability to foster an environment that is sustainably safe, respectful, fair and inclusive of everyone and promotes diversity, equity and inclusion inside and outside of our business.” That language is not included in subsequent filings.

    A logo of Tesla

    A Tesla logo. Tesla has quietly stripped DEI language from its SEC filings in recent years. ((Photo by WANG ZHAO/AFP via Getty Images) / Getty Images)

    Ticker Security Last Change Change %
    TSLA TESLA INC. 187.91 -0.95 -0.50%

    Additional language from the 2021 filing that was not included in the 2022 or 2023 10-Ks reads, “From our outreach to Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Hispanic Serving Institutions to sponsoring employee resource groups across numerous locations, including Asian Pacific Islanders at Tesla, Black at Tesla, Intersectionality, Latinos at Tesla, LGBTQ at Tesla, Veterans at Tesla and Women in Tesla, we engage these networks as key business resources and sources of actionable feedback. We are also working on diversity efforts in our supply chain. . . .”


    Tesla did not immediately respond to FOX Business‘ request for comment on the reasoning behind scrapping references to DEI in its filings, but Musk has made it clear in recent public comments that he believes the programs do more harm than good.

    While calling for DEI programs to “die” in December, the billionaire wrote on his social media platform, X, that “The point was to end discrimination, not replace it with different discrimination.”

    Elon Musk speaks at a tech fair

    Elon Musk, billionaire and chief executive officer of Tesla, at the Viva Tech fair in Paris, France, on Friday, June 16, 2023.  (Photographer: Nathan Laine/Bloomberg via Getty Images / Getty Images)

    Then last month, Musk said in an X post that that DEI was “just another word for racism” and “shame on anyone who uses it.” When X user Ed Krassenstein mentioned that he thought DEI had major flaws, Musk responded that “discrimination on the basis of race, which DEI does, is literally the definition of racism.”

    In an interview with Ben Shapiro a few weeks ago, Musk predicted that DEI policies are, indeed, on the way out.


    “I think DEI is starting to fade,” Musk said. “First of all, DEI is actually illegal, because it discriminates on the basis of race, sex, sexual preference and all sorts of other things.”

    He went on to point to a growing number of lawsuits challenging DEI programs for that reason, and added, “I think DEI is on its last legs.”

    FOX News’ Ryan Gaydos contributed to this report.

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