December 8, 2023
In a dramatic turn of events, Elon Musk, the owner of X and outspoken billionaire, has demanded the immediate firing of Disney CEO Bob Iger. The dispute arose after Disney decided to pull advertisements from Musk’s embattled social media platform, with Musk taking to his platform, formerly known as Twitter, to express his strong opinions on the matter.
“Bob Iger should be fired immediately,” Musk declared on Twitter. He further lamented the impact of the decision on Walt Disney’s legacy, stating, “Walt Disney is turning in his grave over what Bob has done to his company.”
Representatives for Disney have not responded to requests for comment as of now. However, Iger is widely acknowledged for his role in transforming Disney into an entertainment powerhouse through strategic acquisitions like Star Wars, Marvel Studios, and Pixar during his first tenure as CEO.
The rift between Musk and Disney escalated when major companies, including Disney, ceased advertising on X last month. This move came after Musk endorsed an antisemitic conspiracy theory, prompting a wave of backlash. Musk offered a tacit apology last week but simultaneously delivered a profanity-laced message to companies distancing themselves from his platform.
At The New York Times DealBook Summit, Musk openly expressed his displeasure with the decision, singling out Iger for criticism. Iger had earlier explained that Disney chose to stop advertising on X due to Musk’s association with the platform, stating, “We just felt that the association with Elon Musk and X was not necessarily a positive one for us.”
The decision to pull ads aligns with a broader trend on X since Musk assumed control in late 2022. Under his leadership, the platform has witnessed a surge in hate speech, misinformation, and conspiracy theories. Musk himself has contributed to the platform’s toxicity, promoting false and dangerous conspiracy theories, attacking the press, and elevating extremists.
The advertising boycott has significantly impacted X’s financial health, as the platform relies heavily on ad revenue. Musk acknowledged at the DealBook Summit that the lack of major advertisers could lead to the demise of his company, bluntly stating, “What this advertising boycott is going to do, it’s going to kill the company.”
Despite the dire state of X, Musk has yet to take personal responsibility for the situation, instead placing blame on advertisers and suggesting they will be responsible for the platform’s potential downfall. The ongoing conflict raises questions about the future of X and its controversial leadership.