Skip to content Skip to footer

Musk to Advertisers Who Left “X” Due to Antisemitic Content: “Go F*** Yourself”

“If somebody is going to try to blackmail me with advertising, blackmail me with money, go f*** yourself,” he said.

Elon Musk speaks onstage during The New York Times Dealbook Summit 2023 at Jazz at Lincoln Center on November 29, 2023 in New York City.

In a remarkable moment in an interview onstage at a conference on Wednesday, an obstinate Elon Musk hurled an expletive at advertisers who are fleeing X, formerly known as Twitter, and blamed the company’s problems on the advertisers themselves rather than his own leadership.

At The New York Times’s DealBook Summit, Musk and interviewer Andrew Ross Sorkin discussed his recent posts on the platform, in which Musk endorsed virulently antisemitic and white supremacist conspiracy theories. Internal documents, according to New York Times reporting, have found that these comments will cost the social media company up to $75 million in advertising revenue, with brands like Apple, Disney, IBM, and more fleeing the platform.

Musk was defiant about the company’s advertising struggles, and contemptuous about the idea that they may be leaving due to his actions as the owner of the company.

“I hope they stop. Don’t advertise,” Musk said. “If somebody is going to try to blackmail me with advertising, blackmail me with money, go fuck yourself,” he said. “Go. Fuck. Yourself. Is that clear? I hope it is.”

“Hey, Bob. I’m sure you’re in the audience,” Musk went on, addressing Disney CEO Bob Iger, who has been critical of X and Musk.

Sorkin went on to ask what Musk planned to do about the advertising and revenue crisis that the company is facing. Musk deflected blame, saying that the company’s precipitous fall in his past year of owning it is the fault of advertisers, instead of the litany of decisions that he has made and bigoted stances he has taken that have been cited as concerns by the steady stream of advertisers who have left the company over the past months.

“What this advertising boycott is going to do is, it’s going to kill the company,” he said. “And the whole world will know that those advertisers killed the company. And we will document it in great detail.”

Sorkin then pointed out that the advertisers who have left the platform since Musk’s takeover — of which there are hundreds, if not thousands — would say that the downfall of the company was the fault of Musk and his leadership team. But Musk repeatedly doubled down on his assertion that nobody else would see it that way.

“They’re going to say, Elon, that, ‘you killed the company because you said these things, and they were inappropriate things,’ and they didn’t feel comfortable on the platform, right? That’s what they’re going to say,” Sorkin said.

Musk, interrupting the end of Sorkin’s statement, jumped in, saying: “And let’s see how Earth responds to that. We’ll both make our cases and we’ll see what the outcome is.”

The interview garnered widespread ridicule online, with people saying that the expletive and exchange were indicative of yet more poor business decisions made by Musk — like telling advertisers to continue to leave the platform as that very move is seemingly destroying the company. Business analysts are already predicting that Musk’s tirade onstage will cause even more advertisers to flee.

Later in the interview, Musk — one of the wealthiest men on Earth — also criticized the idea of unions. He said, perhaps ironically, that he “doesn’t like anything that kind of creates a lords and peasants sort of thing,” which he claimed is caused by unions, rather than perhaps the current system of billionaire lords who exercise near-total power over the U.S. and the working class people struggling within it.

A critical message, before you scroll away

You may not know that Truthout’s journalism is funded overwhelmingly by individual supporters. Readers just like you ensure that unique stories like the one above make it to print – all from an uncompromised, independent perspective.

At this very moment, we’re conducting a fundraiser with a goal to raise $13,000. So, if you’ve found value in what you read today, please consider a tax-deductible donation in any size to ensure this work continues. We thank you kindly for your support.