The White House has taken a firm stance against Elon Musk, accusing him of perpetuating a “hideous” antisemitic falsehood on his social media site, X.
In response to a post by Musk, White House spokesman Andrew Bates declared the repetition of this antisemitic lie as “unacceptable” and emphasized the inappropriateness of doing so, especially in the context of recent tragic events for the Jewish community.
The outcry over unchecked antisemitic content on X, some of which has been endorsed by Musk, has reached a tipping point. Major advertisers, including Apple Inc., have pulled ads, and the White House has openly criticized the billionaire for his role in the matter.
Musk’s engagement with antisemitic users on X has been a cause for concern. In a notable instance, he agreed with a post asserting that Jewish people harbor a “dialectical hatred” of white people, to which Musk responded, “You have said the actual truth.”
Several Tesla Inc. shareholders, alarmed by Musk’s behavior, have called for action, with some suggesting that he should be suspended from his position as the CEO of the electric car maker. White House spokesman Bates emphasized the collective responsibility of Americans to speak out against attacks on the dignity of fellow citizens and the compromise of community safety.
The controversy surrounding Musk’s remarks has compounded following a report from Media Matters, revealing ads for prominent companies appearing next to pro-Nazi content on X.
IBM has already announced a halt to advertising on X until the situation is resolved, joined by the European Commission and Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. in withdrawing their ads.
This is not the first time Musk’s actions have sparked controversy. Last year, he faced calls for an apology from the American Jewish Committee after deleting a tweet making a satirical comparison between Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Adolf Hitler.
As antisemitism and Islamophobia rise globally amid the Israel-Hamas conflict, Musk’s recent comments have attracted heightened scrutiny. The Anti-Defamation League reported a more than 900% increase in antisemitism on X following the initial October 7 attack by Hamas.
In response to concerns raised by the ADL, Musk accused the organization of undermining X’s advertising revenue. Ad sales on X have reportedly declined by 60%, with Musk attributing this primarily to pressure on advertisers exerted by the ADL.
As the controversy unfolds, Musk’s remarks continue to draw condemnation, raising questions about the responsibility of tech leaders in addressing and preventing the spread of hate speech on their platforms.