Elon Musk apologizes for antisemitic tweet but crudely attacks advertisers

Elon Musk apologized for a recent antisemitic post on X while speaking at a conference on Wednesday night, but added a crude denunciation of advertisers that have since withdrawn from the platform.

The advertising exodus this month amounts to “blackmail,” Musk said, warning that the loss of ad revenue would ultimately result in the closure of X, formerly known as Twitter.

Musk used an expletive while addressing companies that removed advertisements from the social media platform.

“I don’t want them to advertise,” Musk said at The New York Times DealBook Summit in New York. “If someone is going to blackmail me with advertising money, go f— yourself.”

“What the advertising boycott is going to do is it’s going to kill the company,” Musk added. “The whole world will know that those advertisers killed the company and we will document it in great detail. Let’s see how Earth responds.”

X did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The recent wave of advertising exits from X included Comcast, IBM, Warner Bros. Discovery and Disney, the parent company of ABC News.

“Hey Bob, if you’re in the audience, that’s how I feel,” Musk said, addressing Disney CEO Bob Iger, who spoke at the conference earlier in the day.

Disney did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

PHOTO: Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, center, takes Elon Musk, left, on a tour of Kibbutz Kfar Aza, Nov. 27, 2023, in Kfar Aza, Israel.

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, center, takes Elon Musk, left, on a tour of Kibbutz Kfar Aza, Nov. 27, 2023, in Kfar Aza, Israel.

Handout/Getty Images

X CEO Linda Yaccarino, who most recently served as the ad sales chief at NBCUniversal, sat in the audience during Musk’s remarks.

Prior to his criticism of advertisers, Musk expressed remorse for a post on X earlier this month that was widely condemned as antisemitic.

“I’m sorry for that post,” Musk said. “It was foolish of me. Of the 30,000 it might be literally the worst and dumbest post I’ve ever done. And I’ve tried my best to clarify six ways from Sunday, but you know at least I think it’ll be obvious that in fact I’m far from being antisemitic.”

Since Musk acquired the company last year, advertising revenue has fallen about 50%, Musk said in a post on X in July.

Before the acquisition, advertising sales made up the vast majority of the company’s income, earnings reports showed.

First appeared on abcnews.go.com

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