During an interview with CNBC’s David Faber, reiterated that nobody can tell him what to do or say, and that he doesn’t care if his saying certain things hurts his companies.
Musk doesn’t care if what he tweets or says drives away future or current Tesla owners. Nor does he care if major advertisers on Twitter are put off by his remarks. The self-proclaimed “free speech absolutist” in a strange moment, Musk paused, before talking about Indigo Montoya. Per CNBC:
FABER: [...] I mean, you know, do your tweets hurt the company? Are there Tesla owners who say I don’t agree with his political position because and I know it because he shares so much of it. Or are there advertisers on Twitter that Linda Yaccarino will come and say, you got to stop man or, you know, I can’t get these ads because of some of the things you tweet.
MUSK: You know, I’m reminded of a scene in “The Princess Bride.” Great movie.
FABER: Great movie.
MUSK: Where he confronts the person who killed his father. And he says, “Offer me money. Offer me power. I don’t care.”
FABER: So, you just don’t care. You want to share what you have to say?
MUSK: I’ll say what I want to say and if the consequence of that is losing money, so be it.
The interview came after Musk tweeted that George Soros reminded him of the X-Men supervillain, Magneto. Musk received some criticism for the tweet about Soros, who like the comic book character is Jewish and survived the Holocaust. Faber pressed him, suggesting maybe the leader of a car company could refrain from tweeting certain things:
FABER: Okay but why share it? Why share it especially, I mean, why share it when people who buy Teslas may not agree with you, advertisers on Twitter may not agree with you. Why not just say, hey, I think this. You can tell me, we can talk about it over there. And you can tell your friends, but why share it widely?
MUSK: I mean, there’s freedom of speech. I’m allowed to say what I want to—
Incendiary remarks have often landed Musk in hot water with regulatory agencies in the U.S. (and beyond) and have even had a direct result on Tesla.
A number of major advertisers started to pull funding from the platform in the wake of changes enacted by Musk causing a major loss in revenue.
Musk will soon pass the roll of Twitter CEO to Linda Yaccarino, telling CNBC he’ll be able to again focus on Tesla and SpaceX more, but it’s unclear if his decision to step down is related to Twitter’s loss of ad revenue under his leadership.