Amid a growing advertiser exodus over antisemitism on his social media site, Elon Musk told advertisers he doesn’t want their money — in no uncertain terms.
“Go f— yourself,” Musk said at the New York Times DealBook conference Wednesday, addressing the growing list of advertisers who have stopped spending money on X, formerly Twitter, over concerns that Musk himself was amplifying antisemitism and racism on the social media site. He appeared to specifically call out Disney chief executive Bob Iger, whose company is among those who paused advertising on X, saying “hi, Bob.”
“What this advertising boycott is going to do is to kill the company,” Musk said, vowing not to bow to pressure from outside companies or critics. If X does go bankrupt, the public will blame censorious advertisers, not him or his actions, Musk said.
Musk’s declaration came at the beginning of a wide-ranging interview in which he also spoke about his mental health, noted that he is often wrong and claimed that as the leader of electric carmaker Tesla he has done more for the environment than “any single human on earth.”
X has faced rolling boycotts from various advertisers since Musk took over the platform a year ago and pledged to make it a haven for free speech, while firing most of the company’s moderation team. But when Musk responded to a user who blamed Jewish communities for bringing antisemitism upon themselves by saying “you have said the actual truth,” the exodus gained steam.
In the interview, Musk said the comment was one of the most foolish he had ever made, and said he was not an antisemite.
This is a developing story and will be updated.