'Go f*@k yourself!': Elon Musk hits X-boycotting advertisers with profanity-laden attack
X CEO Elon Musk has used an appearance in New York to hit back at the growing number of advertisers opting to avoid the social platform. In recent weeks, there has been a mass exodus of big names such as Apple, Coca-Cola and Disney following concerns about antisemitism.
In mid-November, Musk endorsed an antisemitic tweet posted by another user, something he has since tried to walk back from, describing it as one of the worst posts he'd ever made. Unsettled, companies pulled advertising from the service, ultimately leading to Musk to implore them to "go fuck yourself".
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While the CEO has apologized for a post widely regarded as supporting antisemitism, the damage has now been done, and major brands are unwilling to have their advertising seen alongside such content. Unsurprisingly, Musk is unimpressed and he has hit out in typically aggressive style.
The profane attack came in an on-stage interview at the New York Times' DealBook Summit. Musk likened the advertising boycott to blackmail, and warned that the move could ultimately kill X. When asked about the companies that have pulled advertising, he said:
I don't want them to advertise. If someone is going to blackmail me with advertising or money go fuck yourself. Go. Fuck. Yourself. Is that clear?
In an aside directed at Disney's Bob Iger, he added: "Hey Bob, if you're in the audience, that's how I feel".
A video of the exchange has been widely shared, including by X's own Linda Yaccarino who described it as a "wide ranging and candid" interview:
But while Musk says he doesn't want the money of the advertisers that have taken a stance, he also warned that the backlash could sink X: "What this advertising boycott is going to do is, it is going to kill the company. And the whole world will know that those advertisers killed the company".