Elon Musk, in his first interview with mainstream media since his antisemitic post on X earlier this month, apologized Wednesday for what he called his “dumbest” ever social media post. But he lashed out at advertisers leaving his platform because of rising antisemitism on X.
“I don’t want them to advertise,” he said at the New York Times DealBook Summit in New York. “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,” he added, referring to Disney CEO Bob Iger.
Musk also said he has no problem being hated. “Hate away,” he said. “There’s a real weakness to wanting to be liked.”
Clad in a leather jacket, black jeans leather boots, and a necklace given to him by a family member of an Israeli hostage that says “bring them home,” Musk added that it’s been “a hell of a year,” and admitted that he sometimes says “the wrong thing.”
A number of prominent brands paused their advertising on X, formally known as Twitter, this month following Musk’s public embrace of an antisemitic conspiracy theory favored by White supremacists.
The advertising exodus included media companies like Disney, Paramount, NBCUniversal, Comcast, Lionsgate and Warner Bros. Discovery, the parent of CNN.
But he also said his tweet, slammed as antisemitic, might be “the worst” he’s ever done.
“I mean, look, I’m sorry for that … post,” he said. “It was foolish of me. Of the 30,000 it might be literally the worst and dumbest post I’ve ever done. And I’ve tried my best to clarify six ways from Sunday, but you know at least I think it’ll be obvious that in fact far from being antisemitic, I’m in fact philosemitic.
Musk visited Israel this week, where he went to a Kibbutz attacked by Hamas on October 7, spoke with families of Israeli hostages and met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Isaac Herzog.
But Musk said on Wednesday that his trip to Israel “wasn’t an apology tour,” and that “it wasn’t in response to all of that.” Musk said that he is a good person but he’s not going to “tap dance” to show people that.
On Monday, Musk told Netanyahu of the recent attacks that “those who are intent to murder must be neutralized; then the propaganda must stop that is training people to be murderers in the future; and then making Gaza prosperous. If that happens, I think it’ll be a good future…. I’d love to help.”
But in a separate conversation at the DealBook Summit, Herzog appeared uncertain that Musk would remain consistant in his messaging.
“We had an open and frank conversation which I found interesting and I think it was mutually beneficial to both of us,” said Herzog. “I sincerely hope that we will see some of [his activism against antisemitism] in the near future.”
This is a developing story and is being updated.
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