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Elon Musk publicly apologizes to disabled employee he laid off after insulting him on Twitter



Twitter CEO Elon Musk publicly apologized to a disabled employee he recently laid off with no warning after Musk Tweeted several insults about the employee on the platform for his 130 million followers to see.

The employee, Haraldur Thorleifsson, who goes by “Halli,” Tweeted at Musk on Monday saying he was locked out of his work computer without warning earlier this month and did not receive any response from Twitter’s human resources department for several days explaining why he was laid off. In response, Musk publicly asked the Icelandic product designer to detail exactly what work he had done for the company. 

Thorleifsson explained his role in saving the company hundreds of thousands of dollars and how he had actively changed how the company handled prioritization of projects. Musk replied by posting two laughing emojis and a clip from the cult classic movie Office Space in which two executives condescendingly question employees about “what exactly” they do at their company. The two exchanged words on Twitter, with Musk eventually Tweeting that Thorleifsson “did no actual work, claimed as his excuse that he had a disability that prevented him from typing, yet was simultaneously tweeting up a storm.”

Thorleifsson posted a thread detailing his physical disability due to muscular dystrophy, which causes cramping in his fingers and hands after a while, limiting the amount of time he can type. After the thread, and much public scrutiny, Musk issued an apology to Thorleifsson. “I would like to apologize to Halli for my misunderstanding of his situation,” he wrote. “It was based on things I was told that were untrue or, in some cases, true, but not meaningful. He is considering remaining at Twitter.” 

On Wednesday, Halli Tweeted that he was releasing a single called Almost Over You that would be part of an album he is working on. He says the timing is purely coincidental.

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