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Elon Musk demands Bob Iger ‘be fired’ after Disney pulled ads from X

Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images for The New York Times

Elon Musk wants Bob Iger fired.

The X owner and erratic billionaire conspiracy theorist went on a rampage Thursday against the Disney chief executive, assailing Iger for the Magic Kingdom’s decision to pull advertisements from his imperiled social media platform, and declaring that Iger should be forcibly removed from his job.

“He should be fired immediately,” Musk, who often uses his influential perch to bully critics and others, wrote about Iger on the platform formerly known as Twitter. “Walt Disney is turning in his grave over what Bob has done to his company.”

Representatives for Disney did not immediately respond to a request for comment. But Iger is widely credited for boosting Disney into an entertainment juggernaut through a series of well-executed acquisitions — Star Wars, Marvel Studios, and Pixar — during his first stint as chief executive.

Disney, like a slew of other major companies, stopped advertising on X last month, after Musk endorsed an antisemitic conspiracy theory popular among White supremacists. Musk tacitly apologized for the post last week after the flurry of companies ceased their relationships with X, but simultaneously delivered a profanity-laced message to companies who decline to purchase ads from his social media platform.

“Go f**k yourself,” Musk repeatedly said on stage to the fleeing brands at The New York Times DealBook Summit.

At the summit, Musk singled out Iger, ranting against the Disney boss after he had explained earlier in the day that the entertainment giant had made the decision to stop advertising on X because of Musk.

“We just felt that the association with… Elon Musk and X was not necessarily a positive one for us,” Iger said.

The decision to pull advertisements also came amid a broader trend on the social media website. Since Musk took over in late 2022, he has made a number of decisions that have contributed to a surge in hate speech, misinformation, and conspiracy theories on the platform.

Musk has himself repeatedly contributed to the toxicity of X. Most recently, he boosted the false – and dangerous — Pizzagate conspiracy theory. Since he acquired the company, he has also smeared the press, launched ugly attacks on the Anti-Defamation League, and elevated extremists on the platform.

The lack of major advertising partners has taken an enormous financial toll on X, which generates the vast majority of its revenue from advertising. Musk himself acknowledged at the DealBook Summit that the current dearth of major advertisers will likely lead to the death of his company.

“What this advertising boycott is going to do, it’s going to kill the company,” Musk candidly said.

Musk, however, has taken no real personal responsibility for the dire state of affairs at X. Instead, he has sought to portray the advertisers at fault, suggesting that they will be responsible for X’s demise, should it happen.

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