Billionaire Mark Cuban blasted Elon Musk over his stance on the merits of DEI on the “What Now?” podcast Thursday.
Musk recently kicked off the debate on X – the platform formerly known as Twitter – when he wrote 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.”
Cuban, a longtime star of the popular show “Shark Tank,” defended the merits of DEI, writing “there are people of various races, ethnicities, orientation, etc that are regularly excluded from hiring consideration” and that by including them “we can find people that are more qualified. The loss of DEI-Phobic companies is my gain.”
Later, Musk replied to Cuban’s post, “Cool, so when should we expect to see a short white/Asian women on the Mavs?”, referring to the Dallas Mavericks, the NBA team Cuban owned for years before recently selling his majority stake.
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On Thursday, Cuban followed up on this debate when he was interviewed by “What Now?” host Trevor Noah, formerly of “The Daily Show.”
When asked about the state of the world in 2024, Cuban argued that things are getting worse.
“How we consume information has changed dramatically over the past five years, and it continues to change, and I think that’s a real problem and that’s lead to a lot of people falling into their own echo chamber and disassociating with each other,” he said.
However, Cuban argued that the next generation of young people make him feel that things will eventually improve.
Noah later praised Cuban for his ability to be honest and yet “find a way to grow within the views that you have” and talked about how Boeing’s mechanical fiasco has sparked an entire debate about diversity hiring practices.
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“It was really fascinating how a lot of people online, and I think many of them have been spurred on by Elon Musk, started talking about ‘Oh you see this is what happens when you have diversity.’ Boeing started having diversity and planes started falling apart,” Noah recalled. He then credited Cuban for having an “amazing post” in response about how unpredictable the right fit for a job can be when using a limited set of parameters.
“As an entrepreneur and somebody who has hired forever and actually learned I’m really bad at hiring and turned it over to others, most jobs, 99% of jobs, it’s impossible to tell which candidate out of however many is the best,” Cuban said.
“The whole idea that you can just use merit to make a determination in how you hire for every job is just wrong,” he argued.
Cuban said he went on social media to ignite a debate on DEI because some X users – particularly those who side with Musk – needed to hear another point of view.
“Because it was on Twitter/X, right? And the way it’s all set up there, it’s Elon’s little echo chamber that rewards people that he rewards, and so I knew that I was going into the lion’s den and that people were just gonna s— on me left and right, which is exactly why I wrote it,” he said.
“That was the audience that needed to hear it, and if there was one light bulb that came on, that’s a win.”
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