Elon Musk abuses advertisers for pulling out and trying to ‘blackmail’ - Hindustan Times

'They can go....', Elon Musk uses expletive words for advertisers for pulling out from X and trying to ‘blackmail’ him

Nov 30, 2023 08:59 AM IST

Elon Musk faces backlash and FCC fine for controversial remark on CNBC News after he used expletive words for advertisers

Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, SpaceX, and X, is no stranger to controversy. He has often used his X (Formerly Twitter) account to express his opinions on various topics, ranging from cryptocurrencies to geopolitics. However, his remark on CNBC news has sparked a backlash from some quarters and a hefty fine from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

Elon Musk Dismisses Advertiser Boycott and Warns of Consequences for X's Future(CNBC)
Elon Musk Dismisses Advertiser Boycott and Warns of Consequences for X's Future(CNBC)

On Wednesday, Musk sat for a comprehensive interview with Andrew Ross Sorkin at the 'New York Times' DealBook Summit, delving into diverse topics such as anti-Semitism, an advertiser boycott, Tesla, AI, and beyond.

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During the course of their hour long conversation, Musk discussed various aspects of his businesses, such as Tesla’s ability to weather economic cycles, SpaceX’s progress on its Starship rocket, and Twitter’s challenges after his takeover.

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When Ross asked Musk about Ads and PR, the X owner dismissed the leaving of advertisers from the platform due to antisemitic posts he had amplified.

“If somebody’s gonna try to blackmail me with advertising? Blackmail me with money? Go f**k yourself. Go. F**k. Yourself. Is that clear?”

The Tesla CEO addressed Disney CEO Bob Iger among the audience, greeting him with a smirky “Hi Bob!”

He also warned that his loyal fans would not forgive the advertisers who pulled out of X because of his posts. “The whole world will know that those advertisers killed the company and we will document it in great detail,” he said. “I have no problem being hated. Hate away.”

Musk’s posts on X have sparked outrage and criticism from various quarters, including the White House, which called them “antisemitic and racist hate”. Some of the posts praised or endorsed extremist groups and individuals, such as the Proud Boys and Kyle Rittenhouse. Many prominent users and advertisers have left or suspended their accounts on X, such as Disney, Apple, and Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo.

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The SpaceX founder had to express regret for his controversial posts that have been widely condemned as antisemitic and racist. “I’m sorry for that tweet or post,” he said. “It was one of the most foolish if not the most foolish thing I’ve ever done on the platform.”

Musk, who is also the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, has denied that he is antisemitic, and said that he has a policy of banning calls for violence on X. He also visited Israel this week, where he met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and offered to help with the reconstruction of Gaza. He said that his trip to Israel was not related to his posts, and that he had planned it earlier.

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