“If someone wants to blackmail me with advertising, blackmailing me with money? Go fuck yourself,” Elon Musk, owner and chief technology officer of X/Twitter, said at the New York Times' DealBook event Wednesday.
This came in response to major U.S. marketers -- many of whom are TV-based legacy media companies -- who recently pulled advertising off the social-media platform. These actions came in response to what many called an antisemitic post that Musk had made.
Musk repeated the blunt statement again, adding: "Is that clear? I hope it is." Later in the conversation, he doubled down on what he just said: “That’s how I feel. Don’t advertise.”
Musk, speaking to Andrew Ross Sorkin at the New York Times DealBook event, said those advertisers were trying to “blackmail” him:
He went on: “What this advertising boycott is going to do, it is going to kill the company,” adding: “And the whole world will know that those advertisers killed the company. We’ll document it in great detail.”
A week and a half ago, a number of major advertisers -- Apple, Walt Disney, Paramount Global, Warner Bros. Discovery, Comcast’s NBCUniversal, Lionsgate and IBM, among others -- pulled advertising in response to a post Musk made. The New York Times reported that those initial advertising decisions pulling media schedules cost the company around $75 million.
The Musk post appeared to show that he sided with a antisemitic post by a user on the X/Twitter platform. The initial post from a X user said: “Jewish communities have been pushing the exact kind of dialectical hatred against whites that they claim to want people to stop using against them.”
The X user went on to say he was “disinterested in giving the tiniest shit now about western Jewish populations coming to the disturbing realization that those hordes of minorities that support flooding their country don’t exactly like them too much.”
Musk responded: “You have said the actual truth.”
Musk has since apologized, and said his remarks needed clarification, which he offered in subsequent posts. “Essentially I handed a loaded gun to those that hated me, and arguably to those [people affected by antisemitism]. For that, I am quite sorry. That was not my intention.”