Tesla founder and X owner Elon Musk has declared war on Disney and its CEO Bob Iger for hypocrisy in targeting his social media platform while ignoring violations on competitor platforms.
The war became a hot one last week at The New York Times DealBook conference when Musk told advertisers like Disney who have pulled their ads from X to "F*** yourself." Musk repeated the condemnation in a post on X.
Musk slammed Iger in the post for ordering Disney to pull ads from X over antisemitic material while spending millions on other sites with even more questionable content.
"Iger, at last week's New York Times DealBook conference, seemed to relish X's demise," Charles Gasparino wrote in the New York Post on Sunday.
"He took the lead in publicly upbraiding Musk and squeezing the company's ad-revenue base even further," Gasparino wrote.
"By him taking the position that he took in quite a public manner, we just felt that the association with that position and Elon Musk and X was not necessarily a positive one for us," Iger said at DealBook. "And we decided we would pull our advertising."
The controversy over X's content arose when the far-left Media Matters group discovered that certain antisemitic posts on X also had branded ads near to them, including Disney's.
Musk insinuated the whole thing had been a set-up.
"As for Media Matters' 'investigation,' it's about as solid as Disney's shaky stock price," Gasparino writes in the New York Post.
"Musk's programmers say the left-wing provocateurs manufactured the situation they accused X of fomenting.' He notes that Musk and his lawyers are suing for defamation."
Musk says he is playing hardball with the left and Disney.
"If somebody's going to try to blackmail me with advertising, blackmail me with money. Go F*** yourself. Go. F***. Yourself. Is that clear? I hope it is . . . Hey, Bob, if you're here in the audience. That's how I feel."
Musk's post excoriating Iger included a picture of a bar graph from The Generation Lab's recent study of social media.
The survey, Deadline reported, examined the relationship between the usage of different social media platforms and the amount of anti-Israel and antisemitic material they contain.
The chart's three bars show TikTok and Instagram as having more objectionable material than X.
"So then why is Disney boycotting X, yet spending millions on other platforms?" Musk wrote.
Disney, along with other major advertisers and media companies such as Apple, Paramount Global, and Warner Bros. Discovery, stopped advertising on X two weeks ago after Musk endorsed a post that was alleged to be antisemitic.
Musk apologized Wednesday, then tore into the companies that pulled their ads.
"I don't want them to advertise," he said at The New York Times DealBook Summit in New York.
"What the advertising boycott is going to do is it's going to kill the company. 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."
Disney has been subject of a boycott itself since tangling with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis when the company opposed the state's Parental Rights Education Act, which LGBT+ groups dubbed the "Don't say gay bill."
Conservative boycotts of Disney have ensued, especially when "woke" storylines were increasingly showing up in Disney programs and films. Disney's Hulu service continues to block conservative and Christian channels from its subscribers.
Iger, who had retired from Disney, was brought back to head the company last year amid decreasing stock prices and sales.
Iger was forced to admit its policies were behind its troubles.
In September, Disney announced it was expected to fall tens of millions short of its 2024 goal for Disney+ and its streaming service Hulu, Newsmax previously reported.
Customers have also been fleeing Disney+ and Hulu in the wake of nationwide boycotts and sharp subscription price increases.
This past summer, Disney stock had a hit a nine-year low, with its marketing cap falling from $350.09 billion March 22, 2022, to $154.04 billion — a decline of $196.05 billion — or a 56% drop.
Meanwhile, Musk has been embroiled in a battle with the left-wing NewsGuard, that has helped Disney's ad boycott of X.
Musk has called NewsGuard "a propaganda shop that will produce any lies you want if you pay them enough money."
Publicis is an investor in NewsGuard while its Publicis Imagine serves as the media agency for Disney+, Disney Parks, Experiences and Resorts, and ESPN/ESPN+.
NewsGuard was founded by Steven Brill, a Democrat activist and donor, in 2018.
NewsGuard's rankings have since been used by advertising agencies to target and block conservative media from obtaining advertising revenue.
Michael Katz ✉
Michael Katz is a Newsmax reporter with more than 30 years of experience reporting and editing on news, culture, and politics.
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