What did Elon Musk say about the loss of advertisers on X over his antisemitic tweet?
In a very revealing interview, the X owner went full expletive on the behemoths who he says will kill the social media platform.
Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and founder of the social media platform X (formerly known as Twitter), has sparked further controversy with his comments addressing advertisers who left the platform due to concerns about antisemitic content. Musk’s profanity-laced remarks came during a New York Times DealBook Summit interview, where he expressed regret for a previous tweet endorsing an anti-Jewish post, as questions drew out a great deal of insight into the mind - an unhappy storm, to use his own definition - of the businessman.
What Elon Musk said about advertising boycott
During the interview, Musk acknowledged the gravity of his earlier tweet, describing it as possibly the worst among a history of over 30,000 messages that included many “foolish” ones. He expressed remorse for inadvertently providing ammunition to both detractors and antisemitic individuals, characterizing the situation as having “handed a loaded gun.” Musk vehemently denied being antisemitic and, in response to advertisers who left X, delivered a blunt message.
“If somebody’s gonna try to blackmail me with advertising, blackmail me with money? Go fuck yourself.”
Musk’s explicit rejection of advertisers attempting to leverage their financial influence was accompanied by an apparent reference to Robert Iger, CEO of Walt Disney, which had withdrawn its ads from X. Musk’s defiance extended to the broader issue of perception versus reality, asserting his commitment to the “reality of goodness” over the “perception of it.” He was also confident that the people of the world would be the real judge of who is right and wrong.
You can watch the full interview below.
What Musk believes will happen next
Despite facing significant backlash and advertiser exits, Musk remained resolute in his stance, emphasizing that he would not pander to those who disagreed with him. He urged customers to evaluate the quality of the products offered by his companies, such as Tesla’s electric cars and SpaceX rockets. Musk asserted his environmental contributions, claiming to have done more for the environment than any single human on Earth.
Musk acknowledged the financial risk for X, suggesting that if the platform fails due to advertiser boycotts, “that will be what bankrupts the company, and that’s what everybody on Earth will know.” However, he placed the blame squarely on advertisers, distancing himself from potential financial repercussions.
The controversy surrounding Musk’s comments coincided with U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s warning about the escalating antisemitism crisis, adding a broader context to the discussion. Musk’s trip to Israel, where he condemned antisemitism and received a symbolic dog-tag from the father of an Israeli hostage, played a role in his attempt to address the fallout from his earlier tweet.
In the aftermath of this incident, X faces increased scrutiny, and Musk, while acknowledging the possibility of X’s financial failure, remains steadfast in his convictions and unapologetic for his earlier controversial post.
Although much of the focus is on the advertising spat, the interview covers a lot of ground including Musk’s attitude to life, his businesses and his space exploration dreams.