Fact Check: Disney+ Lost 23M Subscribers in One Night After Trying to 'Cancel' Elon Musk?

A rumor said that Disney+ had lost 23 million subscribers overnight or in one night simply for trying to cancel Elon Musk.
Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images


In November 2023, Disney+ lost 23 million subscribers "overnight" after "trying to cancel" X owner Elon Musk.


Rating: Labeled Satire
Rating: Labeled Satire

On Nov. 30, 2023, The Dunning Kruger Times website published an article positing that the Disney+ streaming service had lost 23 million subscribers in a single night, all apparently because the company had tried to cancel Elon Musk.

The article began as follows:

Disney Loses 23 Million Subscribers Overnight After Trying to Cancel Elon Musk

The Walt Disney Company, which decided long ago that it would align itself with woke ideologies, just found out what happens when you mess with Americans and their freedom of speech.

After the company cut ties with Elon Musk because he mentioned the word “Pizzagate,” 23 million freedom-loving American patriots cut their ties with Disney Plus.

However, there was no truth to the rumor that claimed Disney+ had lost 23 million subscribers for trying to cancel Musk.

The Dunning-Kruger Times is under the umbrella of America's Last Line of Defense, a network of content that is described by the website as containing "parody, satire and tomfoolery."

Had readers kept reading the article until the end, they would have found plenty of hints that the story was not genuine (or serious).

For further context, it's true that Musk had recently made reference on X to the debunked Pizzagate conspiracy theory as the Dunning-Kruger Times article said, though he didn't specifically mention "Pizzagate" by name, according to The Associated Press.

The Pizzagate conspiracy theory started making the rounds online prior to the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Its basis was the false claim that former U.S. Secretary of State and then-Democratic Party presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton and her former campaign chairman, John Podesta, had run a child sex ring in the basement of the Comet Ping Pong pizzeria in Washington, D.C. A man with an assault rifle entered the pizzeria in December 2016 and fired several shots in an attempt to investigate the conspiracy theory, according to CNN.

For background, here is why we sometimes write about satire/humor.


Hauck, Grace. “‘Pizzagate’ Shooter Sentenced to 4 Years in Prison | CNN Politics.” CNN, 22 June 2017, https://www.cnn.com/2017/06/22/politics/pizzagate-sentencing/index.html.

Ibrahim, Nur. “Was Ketanji Brown Jackson the Judge in the ‘Pizzagate’ Case?” Snopes, 31 Mar. 2022, https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/ketanji-brown-jackson-pizzagate/.

Marcelo, Philip. “Elon Musk and Others Spread Meme Reviving Unfounded ‘Pizzagate’ Conspiracy Theory.” The Associated Press, 29 Nov. 2023, https://apnews.com/article/fact-check-pizzagate-conspiracy-elon-musk-ABC-657657139374.