Tesla shareholders condemned Elon Musk’s antisemitic behavior, on his own social media platform, X, and other media outlets Thursday. Some investors are publicly saying he should be suspended, according to a Bloomberg report Friday. Apple also took action over Musk’s tweets by pausing ads on X, Axios reported Friday.
The backlash came after Musk endorsed a tweet saying Jewish communities push “hatred against whites”. He said the tweet was “the actual truth,” and proceeded to attack the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), a civil rights group advocating against antisemitism.
“There’s no excuse for the spreading of hatred by any CEO of any publicly traded company,” said Jerry Braakman, CIO at First American Trust, which held about 16,000 Tesla shares as of Sept. 30. “Tesla’s board should place him on leave for a month or two.”
Tech leaders are also speaking out to condemn Musk’s actions. Apple plans to pause advertising on X, according to an Axios report Friday. Lionsgate will also reportedly cease its ads on the social media platform over the remarks, a Bloomberg report says. The two join IBM, which pulled advertising off the platform after it ran next to Nazi content. Facebook Cofounder Dustin Moskovitz went a step further and called for Elon Musk to resign from all his companies in a post on Threads Wednesday.
Several investors are upset with Musk’s comments, however, few of them seem to be divesting from the electric car company. Shares of Tesla rose approximately 10% this week, despite falling slightly on Thursday.
Kristin Hull, founder and CEO of Nia Impact Capital, a social-impact fund that owned $282,000 of Tesla stock in 2023, said she was “appalled” after Musk’s endorsement of antisemitism. The lack of “serious punitive action” from Tesla’s board is a concern for Hull, and her fund suggests an appropriate reaction would be “censure by the Board, demotion, re-assignment, suspension, or removal.”
Tesla investor Ross Gerber said on CNBC Thursday night, “I’ve never had this with any company I’ve ever invested in ever in my life” Gerber is the CEO of Gerber Kawasaki Wealth & Investment Management, which owed 400,000 shares of Tesla at the end of September.
“It’s absolutely outrageous, his behavior and the damage he’s done to the brand,” he said. Gerber says he will be replacing his Tesla with a Rivian next year, in a tweet on Musk’s platform.
The White House condemned Musk for promoting “antisemitic and racist hate”, on Friday. White House spokesperson Andrew Bates notes his behavior comes one month after the deadliest day for Jewish people since the Holocaust, the Oct.7 Hamas attack on Israel.