X owner Elon Musk has told The Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger and other corporate executives to “go f*** [them]selves” as his social media platform continues to miss out on advertising revenue from companies who paused spending on his website amid his ongoing controversy stemming from an antisemitic post.
Elon Musk Tells Disney CEO Bob Iger ‘Go F*** Yourself’
Musk spoke about the controversy at the New York Times DealBook Summit in New York on November 29. He held nothing back when asked about the mass advertising pause, per CNN, cursing out corporate executives before calling out Iger specifically.
I don’t want them to advertise. If someone is going to blackmail me with advertising or money go f**k yourself. Go. F**k. Yourself. Is that clear? Hey Bob [Iger] if you’re in the audience.Elon Musk at the New York Times DealBook Summit
Several companies, including Disney, paused advertising on X last week after Musk, according to CNN, “publicly endorsed an antisemitic conspiracy theory popular among White supremacists” on his personal X account. Several “Jewish leaders, activists, and academics representing both major political parties” condemned Musk’s remarks, per CNBC, calling on companies like Disney to halt ad spending.
Disney did just that, stopping advertising and posts of all types on several of its X accounts. Handles associated with The Walt Disney Company, including @WaltDisneyCo, @DisneyParks, @Pixar, @MarvelStudios, and @StarWars, paused X usage during the freeze, with most returning to general posting on the platform on November 28. Some accounts owned by the company, including those associated with ESPN, continued to post throughout the larger pause.
Iger also spoke at the New York Times DealBook Summit on Wednesday, stating the following about the advertising pause during a Q&A:
I have a lot of respect for Elon and what he’s accomplished. Not just you know, one business, but a few businesses. And we know Elon is larger than life in many respects, and that his name is very much tied to the companies he either founded or he owns, whether it’s Tesla or SpaceX, or now X. And 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. And we decided we would pull our advertising.Bob Iger at New York Times DealBook Summit
Prior to the pause, Disney spent a substantial amount of capital on advertising on X. Musk had previously identified the company as one of his social media platform’s largest advertisers, per The Hollywood Reporter, and while Disney’s spending on X specifically has not been disclosed, the company does spend billions of dollars per year in advertising. Per Statista, Disney allotted north of $5 billion to advertising in 2022.
Musk apologized for the antisemitic post during the New York Times DealBook Summit, saying it was “foolish of [him]” before describing it as potentially “the worst and dumbest post I’ve ever done.” The executive stated that he visited Israel earlier this week.