Elon Musk announced he has Asperger syndrome while hosting Saturday Night Live in the United States.
He admitted to having the disorder, which is a type of autism, and clarified that he has trouble convincing people that he means what he says.
“It’s awesome to be hosting Saturday Night Live, and I really mean it,” the 49-year-old Tesla CEO, SpaceX founder, and one of the world’s wealthiest men, said in his opening monologue. I have to say that I mean it even after I say something.”
“Or at least the first person to admit it,” he said, explaining that he is the first person with Asperger’s syndrome to host the show.
It is believed that this is the first time the businessman has publicly stated that he suffers from an autism spectrum disorder.
According to the National Autism Society of the United Kingdom, diagnoses of Asperger’s syndrome are being used less often than in the past, although “many people who match the description for Asperger syndrome are still being diagnosed with autistic spectrum disorder instead… some people with an Asperger syndrome diagnosis can want to keep using the word.”
According to the society, people with Asperger’s syndrome have a tougher time “understanding and relating to other people, as well as participating in daily family, education, work, and social life.”
Mr Musk also made light of his Twitter account, which has more than 50 million followers, and the tweets that prompted others to question why he was invited to host the show.
“Look, I know I say or post weird things sometimes, but that’s just how my brain works,” he explained.
“To anyone insulted, I just want to say that I reinvented electric cars and am taking people to Mars in a rocket ship. Did you think I’d be a laid-back, normal guy as well?”
The billionaire isn’t the first person with Asperger’s syndrome to host the show; comedian and Saturday Night Live alum Dan Aykroyd, who hosted in 2003, has previously talked about having a moderate form of the disorder.