Elon Musk took the stage at the DealBook conference on Wednesday evening with nervous laughter and a cascade of jokes about himself and his corporations. However the interview rapidly turned to the extra critical topic of Musk’s latest antisemitic posts on X and whether or not his firm can survive the advertiser boycott. On that matter, Musk appeared alternatingly apologetic and defiant — acknowledging his errors, then doing every little thing in his energy to push advertisers away.
“I hope they cease. Don’t promote,” Musk informed interviewer Andrew Ross Sorkin. “If any person goes to attempt to blackmail me with promoting, blackmail me with cash, go fuck your self. Go fuck your self. Is that clear? I hope it’s.” He singled out Disney CEO Bob Iger, who mentioned not wanting Disney to be affiliated with Musk whereas on stage earlier within the day. “Hey Bob, for those who’re within the viewers.”
If advertisers don’t return, Musk stated, “what this promoting boycott is gonna do is it’s gonna kill the corporate.” He appeared virtually resigned to the likelihood, talking of it virtually as if X had been a martyr and advertisers the enemy. “That’s what all people on Earth will know,” he stated. “We’ll be gone, and it’ll be gone due to an advertiser boycott.”
Musk’s message to advertisers got here after what had briefly gave the impression to be an try and salvage the injury he induced after he known as an antisemitic submit the “precise reality” two weeks in the past. Greater than 100 manufacturers have since halted their adverts, and the corporate is vulnerable to shedding $75 million by the top of the yr, according to The New York Times.
“I ought to looking back mustn’t have replied to that one individual,” Musk stated. He blamed media shops for not masking his clarifications earlier than apologizing. “Basically I handed a loaded gun to those that hate me, and arguably to these are antisemitic, and for that I’m fairly sorry. That was not my intention.”
However even in his makes an attempt to elucidate himself — that out of tens of 1000’s of posts on X, he’s sure to say “silly” issues — Musk insisted he wasn’t on an “apology tour.” He stated his latest go to to Israel wasn’t in response to the criticism of his posts, and that he didn’t thoughts being an object of contempt. He then went on a rambling rationalization of what he says he actually meant: his perception that Jewish persons are funding causes meant to “annihilate” them.
His tried clarification solely appeared to additional the antisemitic conspiracy principle he promoted within the first place, broadly blaming “individuals within the Jewish group” for his or her assist of unnamed activist teams.
The total interview was meandering and at occasions devolved into stream of consciousness responses; Musk spoke for triple the time most different interviewees did. However the questions round Musk’s personal actions, and the ensuing advertiser exodus — the issues that would materially affect X — appeared to garner essentially the most nonchalant solutions. He doesn’t appear to care.