Netflix’s Reed Hastings weighs in on Elon Musk at NYT summit

Netflix co-CEO Reed Hastings offered some of his thoughts on billionaire and Twitter CEO Elon Musk while speaking Wednesday at a New York Times summit.

Hastings told Andrew Ross Sorkin, founder and editor-at-large of DealBook at The New York Times, that he thinks Musk is the “bravest, most creative person on the planet.” He said what Musk has “done in multiple areas is phenomenal.”

Reed Hastings attends the Netflix and Mediaset Partnership Announcement in Rome Oct. 8, 2019. (Ernesto S. Ruscio/Getty Images/Netflix/Getty Images)

Musk serves as the chief executive of Twitter, Tesla and SpaceX and co-founded OpenAI, Neuralink and The Boring Company. He completed his $44 billion acquisition of Twitter in late October, implementing major changes at the social media platform since then.


Elon Musk speaks at a meeting in Norway

Tesla CEO Elon Musk smiles as he addresses guests at the Offshore Northern Seas 2022 meeting in Stavanger, Norway, Aug. 29, 2022. (Carina Johansen/Getty Images)

“His style is different than, like, ‘I’m trying to be a really steady, respectable leader,’ you know. He doesn’t care,” Hastings said at the DealBook summit. “He’s just like out there.”

“Think of a guy who’s spending $44 billion. He could have built the biggest … he could have built a mile-long yacht for $44 billion,” he added. “But it’s not good for the planet, so he’s not interested. He’s in for things that help.”

Hastings is 100% convinced that [Musk] is trying to help the world in all of his endeavors,” he told Sorkin. He said he thinks Musk is “trying to help the world” on Twitter “because he believes in free speech and its power for democracy.”

The Netflix co-CEO went on to suggest Musk’s method “is not how I would do it” but noted that he’s “deeply respectful.”

Tesla CEO Elon Musk stands at the opening of the company's Berlin factory.

Elon Musk, Tesla CEO, attends the opening of the Tesla factory Berlin Brandenburg in Gruenheide, Germany, March 22, 2022. (Patrick Pleul/Pool via AP / AP Newsroom)

“I’m amazed that people are so nit-picky on him on — yeah, sorry — the blue check mark. He’s making a mess of some things,” Hastings said. “Give the guy a break. He just spent all this money to try to make it much better for democracy and society, to have a more open platform, and I am sympathetic to that agenda.”


Musk launched the platform’s verification subscription service earlier in November, and accounts impersonating public figures and companies subsequently appeared on the platform, FOX Business previously reported.

He rolled back the feature and has since said Twitter would hold off on relaunching it “until there is a high confidence of stopping impersonation.”

Reed Hastings of Netflix

In this Feb. 28, 2017, file photo, Netflix Founder and CEO Reed Hastings smiles during an interview in Barcelona, ​​Spain. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez, File / Associated Press)

The Netflix co-CEO’s remarks at the summit caught Musk’s attention online. The Twitter CEO replied to a clip of them, saying, “Wow, thank you for the kind words @reedhastings.”


The New York Times’ annual DealBook Summit took place in New York City. Notable interviewees and speakers included Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Meta Platforms CEO Mark Zuckerberg and FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried, among others.

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