Over the weekend, multi-hyphenate entrepreneur Elon Musk made an unusual appearance on the Los Angeles red carpet for the premiere of "Lola," a small indie flick co-directed by American actress Nicola Peltz.
Pictures show the mercurial CEO posing for pictures next to Peltz and her father Nelson Peltz.
The bizarre cameo by the second richest man in the world at the premiere of a tiny movie that barely anybody's ever heard of left plenty of questions unanswered. Doesn't Musk have more important matters to attend to? Why this movie in particular?
While we don't have any definitive answers, there's a good chance the billionaire was trying to cozy up to Peltz's father, an activist investor who's taken direct aim at Disney CEO Bob Iger — who also happens to be one of Musk's biggest enemies lately.
When asked by a FabTV reporter on the red carpet why he was attending the event, Musk had an intriguing answer.
"I’m just here with friends... Thinking about what companies to acquire," he answered, quickly walking away from the reporter while audibly chuckling to himself.
To be clear, Musk stopped far short of announcing that he was about to buy Disney — but given his recent fight with Iger and Peltz's position on the matter, it's not exactly a stretch to conclude he was making a veiled reference to the international media conglomerate.
Before we go on, let's unpack Musk's ongoing fight with Disney's leadership.
After Musk made some brash antisemitic remarks late last year on his social media echo chamber X last year, even more advertisers — including Disney — fled for the hills.
During the subsequent New York Times DealBook Summit, Musk made his position on the matter clear, literally telling X advertisers to go "fuck" themselves.
At the time, he singled out Iger as well: "Hey Bob, if you’re in the audience," he added.
In December, Musk escalated his personal attack, arguing in a tweet that Iger "should be fired immediately," in reply to a tweet alleging that sex exploitation material on Meta was "sponsored" by Disney.
His hatred for Iger is shared with Peltz, who has attempted to shake up Disney's board with his hedge fund Trian Partners. In December, he proposed himself and former Disney CFO Jay Rasulo as director candidates to replace two current board members.
Blackwells chief investment officer Jason Aintabi, who's currently working on his own Disney board coup, accused Peltz of focusing "his efforts on soliciting endorsements from Elon Musk — who doesn’t own a single Disney share, and is aggrieved at Disney for withholding advertising dollars from his struggling social media platform," in a letter to shareholders, as quoted by Variety.
Aintabi may have a point. Musk is seemingly throwing his weight behind Peltz and his hedge fund, which could help explain his mystifying appearance at the premiere over the weekend.
"Brutal track record," he wrote, two days after Disney formally rejected Trian's nomination for Peltz and Rasulo. "Shareholders have been incredibly poorly served by the Disney board!"
Per Variety, Trian controls roughly $3 billion worth of Disney shares, the majority of which is owned by former Marvel chief Ike Perlmutter, who also has a vendetta against Iger.
Just this week, days following Musk's red carpet appearance, Disney released a perplexing animated video, talking duck and all, in which the company encouraged shareholders to reject Peltz's attempts to take over the company.
Outside of Peltz's coup, Musk recently announced he's footing the legal bills for a complaint recently filed by former "The Mandalorian" star Gina Carano, who's accusing Disney of discrimination and wrongful termination.
In her complaint, Carano alleged she was let go back in 2021 because of voicing her right-wing beliefs. Disney fired her after she made troubling comments about trans people and compared being a Republican to being Jewish during the Holocaust.
That's strikingly similar to bizarre comments Musk recently made. Following his antisemitic antics last year, the billionaire has flown to Israel and attended an event near the Nazi death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau, during which he argued that the Holocaust wouldn't have happened if social media was around.
His support for Carano is part of Musk's broader crusade against the media conglomerate.
"Please let us know if you would like to join the lawsuit against Disney," he tweeted on Tuesday.
But could Musk really be serious about making moves to acquire the company? Realistically, it seems incredibly unlikely. Such an action would require an astronomical amount of funds of roughly speaking four times the amount it took for him to buy Twitter. The board would also have to agree to such an arrangement — after seeing Twitter's value crater under Musk's bizarre rule.