Elon Musk has reacted to a secretly recorded video featuring Alex Martinez in which the Twitter executive discusses the tech billionaire’s Asperger’s syndrome.
The Tesla and SpaceX founder has been candid about suffering from the condition in the past but some people were unaware about it until Musk left a comment under the now-viral video.
Here’s how Musk responded to the footage and what he has had to say about Asperger’s syndrome in the past.
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Musk reacts to Twitter executive’s video
On Tuesday, May 18th, American political columnist Benny Johnson, chief creative officer of conservative organisation Turning Point USA, posted a video clip featuring Twitter’s lead client partner Alex Martinez. The footage was taken by an unnamed undercover journalist for Project Veritas, an American far-right activist group founded in 2010.
Apparently referring to Musk, Martinez can be heard saying: “He has Asperger’s so he’s special. You’re special needs. You’re literally special needs.”
Musk then shared his thoughts under Johnson’s video, writing: “Twitter exec trashing free speech and mocking people with Asperger’s.”
The Tesla and SpaceX founder also pinned the video on his Twitter profile, Fox News reports but, at the time of writing, the billionaire had changed it to a comment he left under an article about Joe Biden.
Twitter’s board of directors agreed Musk could purchase the social media site for $44 billion (£34.5 billion) on April 26th, 2022.
HITC has reached out to Alex Martinez and Elon Musk for comment.
Elon Musk and Asperger’s syndrome
Elon Musk has been candid about his Asperger’s syndrome and has addressed it in a TED talk and comedy sketch show Saturday Night Live (SNL).
He first publicly disclosed his condition during an opening monologue on SNL in May 2021 when he said: “I don’t always have a lot of intonation or variation in how I speak, which I’m told makes for great comedy. I’m actually making history tonight as the first person with Asperger’s to host SNL.”
At the time, however, some viewers pointed out comedian Dan Aykroyd, who has the same condition, had hosted the show before.
Musk also addressed his condition during a TED talk interview with the media company’s head Chris Anderson in April 2022.
The billionaire opened up about growing up with the syndrome, telling Anderson: “Social cues were not intuitive so I was just very bookish. Others could intuitively understand what was meant by something. I would take something very literally as if the words that were spoken were exactly what they meant.
“But that turned out to be wrong. [People are] not simply saying exactly what they mean. There are all sorts of other things that are meant. It took me a while to figure that out.”
Asperger’s syndrome is defined by the American Psychiatric Association as a “complex developmental condition that involves persistent challenges in social interaction, speech and non-verbal communication, and restricted/repetitive behaviours”.
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