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Tesla Founder Elon Musk Takes Aim Against CEO Bob Iger Ahead of Disney’s Shareholder’s Meeting

elon musk and bob iger with cinderella castle
Credit: Disney/Daniel Oberhaus, Flickr/Canva

Tesla and Space X founder Elon Musk has taken another step in going head-to-head with Disney CEO Bob Iger, but his latest jab at the House of Mouse leader lacked something imperative to his success as a Disney Company nemesis: originality.

elon musk twitter disney marvel star wars move to threads mark zuckerberg

Credit: Daniel Oberhaus, Flickr

Elon Musk: a CEO’s CEO (and Founder and Innovator and . . .)

Elon Musk, the renowned entrepreneur and innovator, boasts a remarkable portfolio of achievements across his diverse ventures.

As the CEO and co-founder of Tesla, Musk spearheaded the transformation of the automotive industry with groundbreaking high performance electric vehicles. Under his leadership, Tesla’s Model S, Model 3, Model X, and Model Y have redefined expectations for electric vehicles around the world, making Tesla the leader in clean energy transportation.

tesla

Tesla Model 3/Credit: Tesla

In addition to his role at Tesla, Musk serves as the CEO and lead designer at SpaceX, where he has revolutionized space exploration.

SpaceX has achieved numerous milestones under Musk’s guidance, including the development of the Falcon 1, Falcon 9, and Falcon Heavy rockets, as well as the Dragon spacecraft. SpaceX also became the first privately funded company to successfully launch, orbit, and recover a spacecraft in 2010.

space x

Credit: Space X

Musk’s determination in his goal to colonize Mars has driven SpaceX’s pursuit of innovation, with plans for the Starship spacecraft to enable human exploration and settlement on the Red Planet. With Musk at the helm, SpaceX has continued to push the boundaries of space technology, making space more accessible and inspiring future generations to reach for the stars as well.

Elon Musk As a Disney Company Nemesis

Though Elon Musk is a purveyor of big business, he doesn’t necessarily approve of the way other large entities conduct business and hasn’t been exactly complimentary of The Walt Disney Company in recent years.

In 2022, Musk responded to a post on X, formerly Twitter, about a “bill to strip Disney of special copyright protections,”  saying that “Current copyright law in general goes absurdly far beyond protecting the original creator,” seemingly signaling his objection to what he saw as great lengths being taken to protect Disney’s rights to the original iteration of Mickey Mouse, Steamboat Willie.

Two months later, in July 2022, Musk responded again to another post about Disney losing the rights to Mickey Mouse, saying, “It’s time.”

Musk further took aim at Disney over a 1958 documentary produced by the company, titled White Wilderness. There has been controversy surrounding the documentary, which seems to show a group of lemmings committing mass suicide. But some with knowledge about the rodent class of animals have pointed out that lemmings don’t exhibit such behavior, leading many to accuse Disney of being behind the deaths of the animals in the documentary.

disney's white wilderness documentary

Credit: Walt Disney Pictures

Elon Musk expounded on his jab at Mickey Mouse and Disney with a tweet in July 2022 that resurrected criticism of the House of Mouse over the documentary.

Musk responded to the tweet, saying that it’s “ironic that Disney would disparage an entire class of rodents when their main character is a rodent.” He then posed a question, asking, “Jealous, maybe?”

Musk Funds a Lawsuit Against Disney (and Asks Others to Join)

Then, in February 2024, Musk found himself intertwined with actress Gina Carano’s legal battle against Disney. Carano, known for her role in the hit Disney+ series The Mandalorian, filed a lawsuit against Disney alleging wrongful termination after she posted several controversial social media posts.

Gina Carano Disney lawsuit

Credit: Disney+/Lucasfilm

Musk has publicly voiced support for Carano, resulting in heightened media attention. The Elon Musk-owned X Corporation is reportedly paying for Carano’s lawsuit against Disney. Recently, the billionaire tycoon seemed to confirm his involvement in Carano’s case by reposting the actress’s announcement on X and commenting, “Please let us know if you would like to join the lawsuit against Disney.”

Elon Musk vs. Disney CEO Bob Iger?

In the early morning hours of April 1, 2024, Elon Musk took aim at Disney’s current CEO, Bob Iger, in a post to Musk’s account on X.

elon musk and bob iger with cinderella castle

Credit: Disney/Flickr/Daniel Oberhaus/Canva

In the post, Musk wrote, “Excited to join @Disney as their Chief DEI Officer. Can’t wait to work with Bob Iger & Kathleen Kennedy to make their content MORE woke! Even the linguini.”

Clearly, the post was an April Fools’ Day joke, but the interesting thing about the joke was that it was not original. Instead, Musk allegedly recycled the joke from a similar one that was posted only moments earlier by author and podcaster, Konstantin Kisin.

elon musk and bob iger jab on x

Credit: Screenshot/X.com

Per Business Insider:

Musk replied to Kisin’s joke with a single crying-with-laughter emoji before reworking it to mention Iger, whom he has beefing with ever since Disney pulled advertisements from X.

The X boss trashed Iger back in December 2023 after Disney pulled ads from the platform in the wake of Musk’s controversial decision to support an antisemitic post.

In a series of posts, Musk wrote that Iger should be “fired immediately” and that Walt Disney himself was “turning in his grave over what Bob has done to his company.

bob iger star wars lucasfilm

Credit: Flickr/Nagi Usano/Disney/Canva

While it’s clear that Elon Musk’s post on April Fools’ Day was definitely a joke, it was more than just a joke. It was clearly intended as another jab at Disney and its CEO Bob Iger, as well as Lucasfilm’s Kathleen Kennedy.

And, as William Shakespeare once wrote in King Lear, “many a true word hath been spoken in jest.” In this case, the truth was in the clearly negative feelings Musk has for Disney and its leadership.

About Becky Burkett

Becky's from the Lone Star State and has been writing since she was 10 and encountered her first Disney Park when she was 11. It was love at first Main Street Electrical Parade. Joy is blank lined journals, 0.7 mm pens, and all things Walt, Woody and Buzz, PIXAR, Imagineering, Sleeping Beauty (make it blue!), Disney Parks history and EPCOT. At Disney World, you'll find her croonin' with the birdies at the Enchanted Tiki Room or hangin' with Woody and the gang at Toy Story Land. If you can dream, you really can do it!

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