'Thank god Exxon's still on it': Elon Musk slams 'wacktivism' as S&P 500 ESG Index drops Tesla
An S&P Dow Jones executive said Tesla had been cast out of the index due to workplace racism and deaths related to its vehicles' autopilot crashes
Elon Musk mocked the controversial ESG sustainability index on Wednesday, May 18, after his company Tesla was removed from the list over concerns about the company's apparent lack of low carbon strategy, claims of workplace racism, and deaths from autopilot crashes.
Tesla became the world's most valuable automobile manufacturer by ushering in a new era of electric vehicles. However, it was removed from the widely-followed ESG index, which is said to measure the "performance of securities meeting sustainability criteria." An executive with S&P Dow Jones Indices, which maintains the index, said Tesla had been cast out due to claims of racial discrimination at the workplace and crashes related to its vehicles' autopilot system.
The move was announced on Wednesday, May 18, in a blog post from SPDJI. Musk, 50, chimed in on Thursday, May 19, responding to investor Cathie Wood's tweet, who called Tesla's removal from the S&P 500 ESG Index "ridiculous" and that it wasn't "worthy of any other response." Musk agreed, writing "Yup" and later adding, "A clear case of wacktivism."
A clear case of wacktivism— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 19, 2022
"What I love most about wacktivists is their incredible sense of humor," he wrote in another tweet.
What I love most about wacktivists is their incredible sense of humor 👼— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 19, 2022
'ESG,' which stands for environmental, social, and governance, is used by "socially conscious" investors to determine where they should put their money, according to Investopedia. Tesla is still listed on the regular S&P 500 index, which measures the largest companies in the US by market capitalization. However, the index provider claimed Tesla had lost a chunk of its ESG score after its Autopilot technology had been linked to at least 11 deaths since 2016, as well as allegations of workplace racism. One former Tesla contractor won $137 million in a lawsuit last October after proving that the company's Fremont plant was a "hotbed of racist behavior."
Musk blasted the decision on Twitter, claiming the index had been "weaponized by phony social justice warriors." He wrote, "Exxon is rated top ten best in the world for the environment, social & governance (ESG) by S&P 500, while Tesla didn't make the list! ESG is a scam."
Exxon is rated top ten best in world for environment, social & governance (ESG) by S&P 500, while Tesla didn’t make the list!— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 18, 2022
ESG is a scam. It has been weaponized by phony social justice warriors.
Musk also shared a meme mocking the ESG index as a measure to "determine how compliant your business is with leftist agenda."
Despite Tesla doing more for the environment than any company ever! pic.twitter.com/ImxrhnRepj— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 18, 2022
Musk's supporters joined him in mocking the sustainability index after its decision to remove the revolutionary EV manufacturer from the list. "ESG is Marxist critical theory as it is but this attack on @Tesla and @ElonMusk is also obvious retaliation for his efforts to protect free speech on @Twitter," Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton tweeted.
"Perhaps once BlackRock replaces three directors on Tesla’s board (just like they did to Exxon’s), the ESG kings will add Tesla and @elonmusk to the list," political commentator Vivek Ramaswamy commented. "The S&P removed Tesla from their ESG rankings because of @elonmusk’s politics and now they’re taking aim at the State of West Virginia’s credit rating," West Virginia treasurer Riley Moore offered. "The ESG movement is a slippery slope that ends with a CCP-style social credit system run by woke corporatists. Reject it," Moore insisted. "That was always the play. Do some fake woke stuff and then exploit the environment and harm workers. Unfortunately, the left is OK with this," political pundit Mike Cernovich wrote in response to Musk's tweet. "It's not about who creates better tech To make the world a better place It's who pays off the most "green" activist groups," author Jim Hanson chimed in.
"Is the new narrative for saving the world “burning fossil fuels” now? I can’t keep up with the ever-evolving narrative of wokeness," Dogecoin creator Shibetoshi Nakamoto quipped.
The S&P removed Tesla from their ESG rankings because of @elonmusk’s politics and now they’re taking aim at the State of West Virginia’s credit rating.— Riley Moore (@RileyMooreWV) May 19, 2022
The ESG movement is a slippery slope that ends with a CCP-style social credit system run by woke corporatists.
That was always the play. Do some fake woke stuff and then exploit the environment and harm workers. Unfortunately the left is OK with this.— Cernovich (@Cernovich) May 18, 2022
It's not about who creates better tech— Jim Hanson (@JimHansonDC) May 18, 2022
To make the world a better place
It's who pays off the most "green" activist groups
is the new narrative for saving the world “burning fossil fuels” now— Shibetoshi Nakamoto (@BillyM2k) May 18, 2022
i can’t keep up with the ever evolving narrative of wokeness
Nonetheless, the de-listing comes as the latest blow to Tesla, whose stock has fallen by nearly 30 percent after Musk announced his plans to buy Twitter for $44 billion. That said, S&P Dow Jones has said Tesla could re-enter the sustainability index if it meets the requirements in the future.