X owner Elon Musk set off a firestorm last week when he appeared to endorse a post on his platform that some deemed anti-Semitic, leading many advertisers to abandon the site.
But if those advertisers are hoping to influence his views or posting habits, they’re in for a disappointment.
“I have no problem being hated,” Mr. Musk said when asked about the controversy at The New York Times DealBook Summit in New York on Nov. 29.
The backlash surrounds Mr. Musk’s response to a Nov. 15 X post that asserted that Jewish communities “have been pushing the exact kind of dialectical hatred against whites that they claim to want people to stop using against them.”
In a brief reply, Mr. Musk wrote, “You have said the absolute truth.”
He later clarified in subsequent posts that he was mainly referring to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), which he claimed “unjustly attacks the majority of the West, despite the majority of the West supporting the Jewish people and Israel.”
He added that such behavior does not extend to all Jewish communities, “but it is also not just limited to ADL.”
The posts resulted in some major advertisers halting spending on the platform, including Apple, Disney, and IBM.
But Mr. Musk appeared unconcerned by that on Wednesday, stating that he didn’t want their money.
“If somebody’s going to try to blackmail me with advertising, blackmailing money, go [expletive] yourself,” he said, before pointedly adding, “Hey Bob, if you’re in the audience.”
Earlier in the day, Disney CEO Bob Iger had spoken at the event.
However, Mr. Musk did acknowledge that the loss of advertising revenue could hurt and potentially even “kill” his company. But in that case, he contended, the world would blame advertisers for X’s downfall, not him.
“Let the chips fall where they may,” he said.
But even while he took a strong stand against his critics, Mr. Musk added that he did regret making the post that started the controversy, calling it “one of the most foolish” things he had done on the platform.
Further clarifying his position, he stressed that his reply was only meant to convey that he found it “unwise” for Jewish people to support groups that want their annihilation, like Hamas.
Mr. Musk also spoke about his trip to Israel earlier this week, during which he toured one of the sites of Hamas’s brutal Oct. 7 terrorist attack.
Noting that the trip was not meant to be an “apology tour” for his recent post, he drew the audience’s attention to a necklace he was wearing.
“It says, ‘Bring them home,’ the hostages,” he said. “It was given to me by the parents of one of the hostages, and I said I would wear it just as long as there was a hostage still remaining. And I have.”
Mr. Musk also expressed his support for Israel in its war against Hamas on Nov. 27 during an X Spaces chat with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
“Those that are intent on murder must be neutralized. The propaganda must stop training people to be murderers in the future,” he said.
He added that once that objective has been achieved, he hopes to help rebuild Gaza into a prosperous region.
“If that happens, I think it will be a good future,” he said.
From The Epoch Times