Conservatives Lead Calls for Boycott of Disney+ After Musk Says Suspension of Ads on X Could ‘Bankrupt’ Company

Conservatives Lead Calls for Boycott of Disney+ After Musk Says Suspension of Ads on X Could ‘Bankrupt’ Company
Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX and Tesla and owner of X, attends the Viva Technology conference in Paris, France, on June 16, 2023. (Gonzalo Fuentes/Reuters)
Katabella Roberts
12/1/2023
Updated:
12/1/2023
0:00

Conservatives are leading the way in calling for a boycott of Disney+ after billionaire businessman Elon Musk criticized Disney and a string of other companies for suspending advertising on his social media platform, X.

Influential right-wing accounts such as End Wokeness, Libs of TikTok, and Zero Hedge urged people to boycott Disney’s streaming service Disney+ and Disney-owned Hulu and cancel their subscriptions amid reports that X is set to lose millions in advertising losses following the suspension.

Corporations including Comcast, Disney, IBM, NBCUniversal, Paramount, and Warner Bros. promptly began pulling their advertisements from the platform after a report by left-wing media watchdog Media Matters accused X of failing to contain pro-Nazi content and hate speech.

Mr. Musk faced further backlash following 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.”

The businessman had responded to that post by calling it “the actual truth.”

The Tesla CEO has repeatedly denied allegations of anti-Semitism, but that did little to quell the exodus of advertisers from his social media platform.

X now risks losing as much as $75 million in lost advertising revenue, The New York Times reported.

“Stop giving money to people that hate you. Cancel Disney+ and pass it on,” End Wokeness posted on X, on Nov. 30.

Elsewhere, Chaya Raichik, creator of the viral Twitter account Libs of TikTok, wrote, “I’m a step ahead of all of you. I never even had Disney+ to now cancel.”

In a separate post, Ms. Raichik noted that Disney had not pulled its advertisement from Chinese-owned TikTok, despite a recent report finding that the video-streaming site is “the main driver of antisemitism on social media.”

“It’s almost as if they’re just targeting @elonmusk and don’t actually care about anti-Semitism…” she wrote.

“Time to boycott Elon’s boycotters,” the Zero Hedge account wrote.

Disney CEO Bob Iger attends the Exclusive 100-Minute Sneak Peek of Peter Jackson's "The Beatles: Get Back" at El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood, Calif., on Nov. 18, 2021. (Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Disney)
Disney CEO Bob Iger attends the Exclusive 100-Minute Sneak Peek of Peter Jackson's "The Beatles: Get Back" at El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood, Calif., on Nov. 18, 2021. (Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Disney)

Advertising Suspension Could ‘Kill’ X

“Cancel Hulu and Cancel Disney Plus are now both breakout trends on Google Trends as viewers apparently respond to their efforts to censor and cancel Elon Musk and X. Fate loves irony,” said conservative pundit Ian Miles Cheong.

The call for a boycott comes after Mr. Musk appeared unconcerned by the mass suspension of advertising on X on Wednesday during an appearance at the New York Times’s DealBook Summit.

“If somebody’s going to try to blackmail me with advertising, blackmailing money, go [expletive] yourself,” he said before adding, “Hey Bob, if you’re in the audience,” apparently in reference to Disney CEO Bob Iger.

Mr. Iger had spoken at the event earlier on Wednesday.

However, Mr. Musk did acknowledge that the loss of advertising revenue would likely “kill” and “bankrupt” his company, although he contended that the advertisers pulling away from the platform would be to blame.

“The judge is the public” on that issue, he said.

Mr. Musk has previously taken aim at what he said were the “bogus media stories” that alleged anti-Semitism in the wake of his comments online regarding Jewish communities, stressing that “nothing could be further from the truth.”

“I wish only the best for humanity and a prosperous and exciting future for all,” he said.

He also said that the report by Media Matters—which claimed that X was placing advertisements for Apple, Bravo (NBCUniversal), Oracle, Xfinity (Comcast), and IBM “next to posts that tout Hitler and his Nazi Party”—was just “another attempt to undermine freedom of speech and mislead advertisers.”

X promptly filed a lawsuit against the watchdog for defamation.