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Elon Musk just used very foul language to tell X advertisers to go away

Elon Musk repeatedly told companies who pulled advertisements from his social media platform X to "go fuck yourself," during an interview for The New York Times DealBook Summit on Wednesday.

Left to right: Andrew Ross Sorkin and Elon Musk speak onstage during The New York Times DealBook Summit 2023.Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images for The New York Times
  • Elon Musk was questioned about his antisemitic comments on X during the New York Times' DealBook Summit.
  • Musk repeatedly said that advertisers can go "fuck" themselves.
  • He also appeared to call out Disney CEO Bob Iger after making the statement.

His comments came after he was questioned about recent posts on the platform, which were criticized for being antisemitic and led to advertisers leaving the platform en masse.

"If someone is going to blackmail me with money, go f*ck yourself," he said, as the room responded with nervous laughter.

Representatives for X did not immediately respond to a request for comment, and later in the interview, Musk appeared to walk back his original post, calling it "foolish."

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Earlier in the day, interviewer Andrew Ross Sorkin asked Bob Iger, the CEO of Disney, about the company's move to pull advertisements on X.

"We know Elon is larger than life in many respects, and that his name is very much tied to the companies he either has founded or he owns, whether it's Tesla or SpaceX or now X," Iger said, though he did add that he has respect for Musk. "By him taking the position that he took in quite a public manner, we just felt that the association with that position and Elon Musk and X was not necessarily a positive one for us."

Iger said that while some of Disney's properties, like ABC and ESPN, were still using X as a platform to communicate, he was not revisiting the decision to pull advertisements.

Disney is one of a number of companies pulling its ads from the platform, including IBM, Apple, and Lionsgate.

The decision to pull ads follows not just Musk's tweet, but also a report from the non-profit Media Matters that showed that their ads were being placed next to white supremacist and antisemitic content. Musk has since filed a defamation lawsuit about the report.

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Over the weekend, the New York Times reported that X may lose up to $75 million from the advertiser exodus. X contended that only $11 million was at risk.

No matter the exact amount, the retreating advertisers adds to the list of woes for X's CEO Linda Yaccarino, who was in the room on Wednesday at the DealBook summit and has been trying to convince advertisers for months that X is a safe platform.

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