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Business News/ Companies / News/  Bob Iger explains why Disney won't advertise on X; ‘I respect Elon Musk but…’
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Bob Iger explains why Disney won't advertise on X; ‘I respect Elon Musk but…’

Disney CEO Bob Iger explains why the company has stopped advertising on Elon Musk-led social media giant X after Musk agreed with an anti-semitic post.

Oct 29, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA; Disney chief executive officer Bob Iger in attendance as the Los Angeles Clippers play against the San Antonio Spurs during the second half at Crypto.com Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports (USA TODAY Sports via Reuters Con)Premium
Oct 29, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA; Disney chief executive officer Bob Iger in attendance as the Los Angeles Clippers play against the San Antonio Spurs during the second half at Crypto.com Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports (USA TODAY Sports via Reuters Con)

Walt Disney CEO Bob Iger has explained why his company has stopped advertising on Elon Musk's social media giant X (formerly Twitter). Iger said that Musk's stance in agreeing with an anti-Semitic post meant that Disney's association with X wasn't a positive one for the company.

Also Read: Elon Musk criticises advertisers amidst anti-semitic post row, says ‘go f**k yourself’

Speaking at the New York Times Dealbook Summit, Iger began by praising Musk for his accomplishments and his "larger than life" persona: “I have a lot of respect for Elon and what he has accomplished. We know that Elon is larger than life in many respects, and that his name is very much connected to the companies he founded or owns."

Explaining the decision behind stopping advertisements on X, Iger noted, "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, and we decided we would pull our advertising."

Earlier this month, Musk agreed with a post claiming that Jewish people have a "dialectical hatred" of white people. The content of the tweet is believed to be widely used by white supremacist conspiracy theorists. The list of companies that have since stopped advertising on X has grown to include big names such as Disney, IBM, Apple, Comcast, IBM, Lionsgate, NBCUniversal, Paramount and Warner Bros.

The New York Times, citing internal documents, had noted in an earlier report that X stands to lose advertising from around 200 companies, including units of Airbnb, Amazon, Coca-Cola and Microsoft, among others. The report noted that X could lose around $75 million in advertising revenue by the end of the year as a result of the recent controversy.

Musk responds to Iger's comments on pulling ads from X:

Speaking specifically about the impact of an advertising boycott, Musk said at the same 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,"

Meanwhile, taking a dig at Bob Iger's comments at the New York Times Summit, Musk said, "If someone is going to try and blackmail me with advertising? blackmail me with money? Go f**k yourself. Hey Bob, if you are in the audience that's how I feel. Don't advertise.

The billionaire also expressed regret over the controversial post nad noted that he had essentially ‘handed a loaded gun’ to his haters. He said, “I should in retrospect not have replied to that one person and should have written in greater length what i meant. But those clarifications were ignored by the media and essentially I handed a loaded gun to those who hate me and arguably to those who are antisemitic. And for that I’m quite sorry, that was not my intention."

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Published: 30 Nov 2023, 10:06 AM IST
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