Elon Musk lashed out publicly for a second time at Walt Disney Co. Chief Executive Officer Bob Iger, escalating criticism over the entertainment company’s decision to join an advertising boycott of his social media platform.
“Walt Disney is turning in his grave over what Bob has done to his company,” Musk said on X, the social media service that he owns. Musk also said Iger “should be fired immediately.”
The comments come after Disney, along with other companies, paused their ad spending on X, formerly Twitter, following Musk’s endorsement of antisemitic remarks on the site. Disney was one of the largest advertisers on X.
“Advertisers have lots of choices of where to spend their marketing dollars, and Twitter/X is certainly not a must-advertise platform, it never has been,” said Rich Greenfield, a media analyst at LightShed Partners. “Brands want to have confidence in management, leadership and brand safety, and it’s hard to see how attacking one of the most respected CEOs in the world further achieve that goal.”
In a series of posts Thursday, Tesla’s CEO appeared to refer to the box-office performance of some recent Disney films, saying Iger “drops more bombs than a B-52.”
Disney declined to comment.
Musk also referenced a New Mexico lawsuit alleging content from Facebook and Instagram enabled child sexual abuse and trafficking.
“Why no advertiser boycott, Bob Eiger?” Musk wrote on X. “You are endorsing this material!” The misspelling of Iger’s last name was Musk’s.
The liberal watchdog group Media Matters for America recently reported that ads on X for Apple Inc., International Business Machines Corp. and Oracle Corp. were running next to pro-Nazi content. Musk has sued the group.
During an appearance at the New York Times DealBook Summit last week, Musk said advertisers were trying to blackmail him. He singled out Iger, who appeared at the same event.
Under Musk, X has become a less-desirable product for would-be advertisers, according to Joshua Tucker, a professor of politics and co-director of the Center for Social Media and Politics at New York University.
“There’s an interesting irony here that Musk, who claims to have bought Twitter to make it a free speech platform, is upset when others exercise their own free speech to distance themselves from his or his company’s actions,” Tucker said.