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X owner Elon Musk accuses advertisers of blackmailing him

Nov 30, 2023

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During The New York Times’ Dealbook Summit on Wednesday, Nov. 29, X owner Elon Musk accused advertisers of blackmailing him. The comments come in the wake of several advertisers withdrawing their spending from the platform following Musk’s endorsement of a post boosting an antisemitic conspiracy theory.

In a strongly worded message, Musk addressed the advertisers, specifically calling out Disney CEO Bob Iger.

“Don’t advertise,” Musk said. “If someone is trying to blackmail me with advertising, blackmail me with money, go f— yourself. Go f— yourself. Is that clear? I hope it is. Hi Bob, if you’re in the audience.”

Iger spoke about Disney’s decision to pull advertising from the platform earlier at the summit, but he didn’t specify whether the company would return to X.

“We just felt that the association with that position and Elon Musk and X was not necessarily a positive one for us, and we decided we would pull our advertising,” Iger said.

In addition to Disney, major brands like Warner Bros. Discovery, IBM and Sony have suspended their ads.

Musk denies being antisemitic and admitted that he should not have “replied to that particular person” on social media.

Musk’s appearance at the summit comes after his recent trip to Israel. While there, he joined Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for a tour of the Kfar Azza kibbutz, a village that Hamas attacked on Oct. 7.

Musk also spoke with other leaders, including Israel President Isaac Herzog.

“Hatred of the Jews affects the behavior of people in many places around the world, and you have a huge role to play in this,” Herzog told Musk.

“We have to do whatever is necessary to stop the hate,” Musk replied, according to a statement released by Herzog’s office.

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Karah Rucker:

ELON MUSK IS ACCUSING ADVERTISERS WHO HAVE PULLED THEIR SPENDING FROM X OVER ANTISEMITIC POSTS OF BLACKMAILING HIS COMPANY.

HE HAD A VERY STRONGLY WORDED MESSAGE FOR THOSE ADVERTISERS – INCLUDING DISNEY’S BOB IGER — AT AN EVENT IN NEW YORK CITY HOSTED BY THE NEW YORK TIMES WEDNESDAY.

MUSK:

“DON’T ADVERTISE. IF SOMEONE IS TRYING TO BLACKMAIL ME WITH ADVERTISING, BLACKMAIL ME WITH MONEY, GO F—YOURSELF. GO F—YOURSELF. IS THAT CLEAR? I HOPE IT IS. HI BOB. IF YOUR IN THE AUDIENCE.”

BRANDS LIKE DISNEY, WARNER BROTHERS DISCOVERY, IBM AND SONY HAVE SUSPENDED THEIR ADS AFTER MUSK ENDORSED A USER’S POST OF AN ANTISEMITIC CONSPIRACY THEORY.
MUSK DENIES BEING ANTISEMITIC AND ADMITTED AT THE EVENT THAT HE SHOULD NOT HAVE “REPLIED TO THAT PARTICULAR PERSON” ON SOCIAL MEDIA.
MUSK TRAVELED TO ISRAEL EARLIER THIS WEEK WHERE HE MET WITH PRIME MINISTER BENJAMIN NETANYAHU.

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