Elon Musk, the high-profile owner of X (formerly known as Twitter), has launched a scathing attack on Disney CEO Bob Iger, calling for his immediate dismissal. Musk's criticism came in the wake of Disney's decision to halt advertising on the social media platform, a move that has sparked a broader discussion about corporate responsibility and freedom of speech online.
Musk didn't mince words, stating, "Walt Disney is turning in his grave over what Bob has done to his company," in a series of posts targeting the media giant. This confrontation follows Musk's harsh response to companies participating in an ad boycott against X, citing concerns over antisemitism and other content issues.
Last week, in a bold statement, Musk told these companies, including Disney, "Go [expletive] yourself." Disney has yet to respond to these remarks publicly.
Iger's Tenure and Musk's Accusations
Bob Iger's return to Disney a year ago, after a brief retirement, was seen as a move to navigate the company through challenging times.
Under Iger's leadership, Disney has seen its market value increase fivefold, thanks to strategic acquisitions such as Pixar, Marvel, 21st Century Fox, and Lucasfilm, and the expansion of its amusement parks. However, Iger's second stint has been marked by financial struggles, including Disney+'s continued losses and a significant downturn in the company's share price.
Musk also took a jab at the recent underwhelming box-office performances of some Disney films, comparing Iger's leadership to a military blunder. He further accused Disney of continuing to advertise on other social platforms that host controversial content, highlighting a perceived inconsistency in their stance.
At the New York Times' DealBook Summit, Musk made his position clear, condemning companies that have paused advertising on X, including Disney, Apple, and Comcast. "If someone is going to blackmail me with advertising or money, go [expletive] yourself," Musk stated emphatically.
X's chief executive, Linda Yaccarino, echoed Musk's sentiments in a repost of what she described as Musk's "candid interview," emphasizing X's unique position at the "intersection of Free Speech and Main Street." Yaccarino highlighted the platform's community as a robust and welcoming environment for advertisers.