Major US companies including Disney, Warner Bros and NBC parent company Comcast have pulled advertising from X (formerly Twitter) amid a row over Elon Musk’s alleged endorsement of an antisemitic conspiracy theory.
The Tesla chief on Wednesday agreed with a post on X that falsely claimed Jewish people were stoking hatred against white people, saying the user who referenced the “Great Replacement” conspiracy theory was speaking “the actual truth”.
That conspiracy theory holds that Jewish people and leftists are engineering the ethnic and cultural replacement of white populations with non-white immigrants that will lead to a “white genocide”.
Mr Musk’s apparent endorsement of the theory was met with a stinging rebuke from the White House, which accused him of “abhorrent promotion of antisemitic and racist hate” that “runs against our core values as Americans”.
“It is unacceptable to repeat the hideous lie… one month after the deadliest day for the Jewish people since the Holocaust,” White House spokesperson Andrew Bates said, referring to the 7 October attack by Hamas against Israel.
It comes a couple of weeks after Mr Musk was interviewed by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak at an AI event in the UK.
Several big US companies have pulled advertising from the X platform, apparently in response to the row.
In addition to Disney, Warner Bros Discovery and Comcast, Lions Gate Entertainment and Paramount Global said on Friday they also were pausing their ads.
It has also been reported that Apple, the world’s largest company by market value, was also pausing its ads.
IBM on Thursday halted its advertising on X after a report found its ads were placed next to content promoting Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party.
Representatives for Mr Musk and X on Friday declined to comment on his post.
“When it comes to this platform – X has also been extremely clear about our efforts to combat antisemitism and
discrimination. There’s no place for it anywhere in the world – it’s ugly and wrong. Full stop,” X CEO Linda Yaccarino wrote on Thursday.
Mr Musk later posted on the platform: “Many of the largest advertisers are the greatest oppressors of your right to free speech.”