Elon Musk apologized for his “dumbest” social media post ever in his first interview with the media after his antisemitic statement on X earlier this month. However, he lashed out at sponsors who were quitting his site due to escalating antisemitism on X.

“I don’t want them to advertise,” he stated in New York at the New York Times DealBook Summit. “If someone is going to blackmail me with advertising or money, go f**k yourself. Go. F**k. Yourself,” he said. “Is that clear? Hey Bob, if you’re in the audience, that’s how I feel.” He continued, alluding to Disney CEO Bob Iger, whom he addressed earlier on Wednesday at the conference.

A request for comment on Musk’s statements was not immediately returned by Disney.

Musk spoke while X CEO Linda Yaccarino sat in the crowd. Yaccarino was hired to get big-name marketers to return. Musk also stated in a long-winded talk that he had no difficulty being despised. “Hate away,” he instructed. “Wanting to be liked is a serious flaw.

Musk, dressed in a leather jacket, black pants, leather boots, and a necklace with the words “bring them home” given to him by a family member of an Israeli captive, said it’s been “a hell of a year,” admitting that he occasionally says “the wrong thing.” Following Musk’s explicit promotion of an antisemitic conspiracy theory promoted by white nationalists, a number of notable corporations halted their advertising on X, formerly known as Twitter, this month. Media corporations such as Disney, Paramount, NBCUniversal, Comcast, Lionsgate, and Warner Bros. Discovery, the parent company of CNN, were among those that left advertising.

But he also said that his anti-Semitic post was “the worst” he’d ever done.

“I mean, look, I’m sorry for that … post,” he added. “That was stupid of me. It may be the worst and dumbest post I’ve ever done out of the 30,000. And I’ve tried my best to clarify six ways since Sunday, but I think it’ll be clear that, far from being antisemitic, I’m actually philosemitic.”

Musk visited Israel this week, visiting a Kibbutz that was stormed by Hamas on October 7, speaking with relatives of Israeli captives, and meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Isaac Herzog.

Musk, on the other hand, stated on Wednesday that his trip to Israel “wasn’t an apology tour” and that “it wasn’t in response to all of that.” Musk stated that he is a wonderful person, but he will not “tap dance” to prove it.

Following the latest assaults, Musk urged Netanyahu that “those who intend to murder must be neutralized; then the propaganda that is training people to be murderers in the future must be stopped; and then Gaza must be prosperous.” If it occurs, I believe the future will be bright…. I’d be delighted to assist.”

However, in a separate talk at the DealBook Summit, Herzog expressed doubt that Musk would maintain consistency in his approach. “We had an open and frank conversation, which I found interesting and I think it was mutually beneficial to both of us,” mentioned Herzog. “I sincerely hope that we will see some of [his activism against antisemitism] in the near future.”

(CNN, Nov. 2023)

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