Elon Musk profanely lashed out at an advertising boycott against his social-media platform, X, on Wednesday, saying that it could kill the company.
“If somebody’s going to try to blackmail me with advertising, blackmail me with money? Go f— yourself. Don’t advertise,” Musk said during an interview at the New York Times’ DealBook Summit.
“What it’s going to do is it’s going to kill the company, and the whole world will know the advertisers killed the company,” he added.
Walt Disney Co.
is among the companies that have pulled ads from X, and its CEO, Bob Iger, was in the crowd, after being interviewed earlier in the session. “Hey, Bob,” Musk said at one point.
The exodus of advertisers from X, formerly known as Twitter, has increased in the past couple of weeks after Musk appeared to endorse an antisemitic tweet. Musk apologized for that post Wednesday, saying it was the “worst and dumbest I’ve ever done.”
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The company has reportedly lost about 60% of its advertisers over the past year — Musk took over 13 months ago — and it still owes billions in debt.
Earlier this year, Musk hired former NBCUniversal
exec Linda Yaccarino as chief executive, hopeful that she could bring advertisers back into the fold.