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Elon Musk’s Controversial Remarks Stir Unrest Among Tesla Investors

Elon Musk, the high-profile CEO of Tesla and various other ventures, is facing backlash from investors and clients after a series of controversial social media posts. The Tesla stock witnessed a 4% decline following Musk’s endorsement of a tweet that propagated an antisemitic conspiracy theory.

Musk, with a substantial following of 163.2 million on social media, initially agreed with a user’s claim that “Jewish communities” foster “hatred against whites.” This led to a swift response from various quarters, including the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), which has been critical of Musk’s content moderation policies and his interactions on the platform.

This backlash has not only affected Tesla’s public perception but also its financial standing. Following Musk’s comments, IBM announced the suspension of all advertising on the social media platform, while prominent AI researcher Gary Marcus expressed his discomfort and took a “timeout.”

The situation escalated further as Gary Black, managing partner of The Future Fund, one of Tesla’s bullish investors, voiced his concerns. He urged Musk to halt his antisemitic remarks to prevent potential damage to the Tesla brand. Black’s sentiment was echoed by several of his clients who expressed outrage over Musk’s comments.

Ross Gerber, co-founder and CEO of Gerber Kawasaki Wealth and Investment Management and a long-time Tesla supporter, reported a similar sentiment among his clients. Many expressed a desire to disassociate from Tesla and Musk, with some even considering selling their Tesla cars.

Musk’s stance has drawn comparisons to former President Donald Trump by some observers, with Gerber noting that Musk has “now gone too far.” Gerber also mentioned his plans to replace his Tesla Model Y with a Rivian vehicle next year, a move that could signal a shift in consumer loyalty.

X CEO Linda Yaccarino weighed in, emphasizing the platform’s commitment to combating antisemitism and discrimination. This controversy comes amid a reported surge in antisemitic incidents in the U.S., with the ADL noting a nearly 400% increase in harassment, assault, and vandalism against Jewish people since a recent attack on Israeli civilians.

For Tesla and Elon Musk, these developments represent a significant challenge. While Musk’s bold and unfiltered style has often been a part of his appeal, it appears to be reaching a tipping point with investors and customers. As the situation unfolds, it will be crucial to observe how this impacts Tesla’s brand, investor confidence, and market performance in the longer term.