Amid Feud with Disney CEO Elon Musk Removes Disney+ From Tesla Vehicles

By: Georgia | Published: Jan 03, 2024

Electrek, a media outlet focused on electric vehicles, has reported that Tesla has removed the Disney+ streaming service from some of its vehicles.

This action is perceived as a response by Tesla, led by Elon Musk, to Disney’s decision to cease advertising on the social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, where Musk holds a significant stake. The removal of Disney+ from certain Tesla models marks a unique intersection of media, technology, and corporate decision-making.

Disney+ Disappears from Teslas

According to Electrek, numerous Tesla vehicle owners have observed that the Disney+ app is no longer available in some Tesla models. This development has sparked discussions among consumers and industry observers about the underlying reasons for Tesla’s decision.

Close-up view of a black Mickey Mouse ears cap with an orange patch featuring the classic Mickey Mouse logo and the text 'Walt Disney World'

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The removal of Disney+ from Tesla vehicles highlights the potential for inter-corporate dynamics to influence consumer offerings in the tech and entertainment sectors.

Tesla’s Official Position on the Removal

Electrek has reported that Tesla unilaterally informed Disney+ about its intention to remove the app from its vehicles.

A front-facing view of a matte black Tesla car captured at twilight, showcasing its sleek design, distinctive LED headlights, and the iconic Tesla logo on the hood

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According to Electrek, Tesla clarified that the removal of Disney+ was limited to vehicles whose users had never launched the Disney+ app in their cars.

A Speculated Retaliation: Tesla's Move Linked to Advertising Withdrawal

The decision by Tesla to remove the Disney+ app from certain vehicles is seen as a direct result of Disney discontinuing advertising on the social media platform X, where Elon Musk is a major stakeholder.

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This correlation, as pointed out by Electrek, suggests a complex relationship between corporate decisions in advertising and product offerings in the tech industry.

Musk's Involvement and Controversy on Social Media

The situation escalated following a controversial incident on social media. On November 15th, Elon Musk supported an anti-Semitic post by another user on the platform.

A person's hand is holding a smartphone with a screen showing a folder labeled 'Social Media,' containing icons for Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, WhatsApp, and X

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This action led to several companies, including Disney, withdrawing their advertisements from the platform, fearing public backlash. This sequence of events has raised questions about the influence of social media activities on broader corporate relationships.

Musk's Public Criticism and the Disney Boycott Query

During an open discussion at The New York Times’ DealBook Summit, Elon Musk used strong language to criticize companies that had pulled their ads from the social media platform.

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When asked by journalist Andrew Ross Sorkin if Disney was at fault, Musk responded, “Yes, aren’t people boycotting Disney?” This statement by Musk further highlights the tension between Tesla and Disney in the context of advertising and media.


Tesla's Strategic Position Against Disney

Electrek’s analysis indicates that Tesla, under Musk’s leadership, is taking a stance against Disney.

The iconic water tower with Mickey Mouse ears at the Walt Disney Studios, set against a cloudy sky with a palm tree in the foreground

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This is ostensibly related to Disney’s decision to withdraw its advertising from the social media platform and Tesla’s subsequent decision to remove Disney+ from its offerings.


Debating the Implications of Tesla's Decision

The debate around Tesla’s decision to remove Disney+ raises questions about the appropriateness and implications of such a move.

Top-down view of a blue Tesla car driving on a damp asphalt road, with the vehicle's headlights illuminated

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While Tesla has stated its reasons, the broader impact on the relationship between the two companies and consumer experience remains a subject of discussion among industry observers and the general public.


Disney's Withdrawal of Ads and Its Consequences

Disney’s decision to stop advertising on X has had notable consequences.

A black smartphone lying on a tan surface, displaying a large white 'X' logo on its screen

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The impact of this decision, especially in relation to Tesla’s response, reflects the interconnected nature of corporate actions and the potential for unexpected outcomes in the highly integrated world of business and technology.


Tesla Consumers: The Unintended Victims

Tesla vehicle owners find themselves inadvertently caught in the crossfire of this corporate dispute.

A driver's hands are visible, one resting on the steering wheel with the Tesla logo, and the other interacting with the large touchscreen display of a Tesla vehicle's dashboard

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The removal of Disney+ from their vehicles is a direct result of decisions made at the corporate level, affecting their user experience.


What Lies Ahead for Tesla and Disney

As the situation evolves, the future relationship between Tesla and Disney remains uncertain. The current circumstances pose questions about the potential for reconciliation or further estrangement between the two companies.

A blue Tesla Model S car parked in front of a large Tesla logo and white lettering spelling 'TESLA' on a concrete wall

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This ongoing development is likely to be closely watched by industry analysts, shareholders, and consumers alike.


A Complex Interplay of Corporate Decisions

The removal of Disney+ from Tesla vehicles is a multifaceted issue that encompasses corporate politics, advertising strategies, and consumer experiences.

Elon Musk stands presenting with open arms in front of a white Tesla Model X with its distinctive falcon-wing doors open, against the backdrop of a large screen displaying a graphic of the same vehicle

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This development serves as a reminder of the complex interplay between different sectors and the far-reaching implications of decisions made by influential companies and personalities. As the story continues to unfold, it will undoubtedly provide further insights into the dynamics of modern corporate relationships.