After weeks of criticism, monologuist Mike Daisey has made his personal blog private and closed his Twitter account. This is likely a result of the harsh public eye turned on Daisey since public radio program This American Life retracted an entire episode of its program after it found evidence that he had fabricated much of it.
Much of the talk about Daisey’s partially falsified performance has, rightly, been about how much damage it has done to the very real issue of workers rights in China. One of the saddest aspects of this whole debacle has been that Daisey’s lies have negatively impacted the discussion of the very real problems in that country.
The New York Times has also edited an article penned by Daisey and published just after the death of Apple founder Steve Jobs.
In the weeks following the premiere of his one-man show, Daisey was referred to by many publications as a commenter on Apple and its factory conditions due to his monologue The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs.That show, along with a series of articles in the New York Times that was in the works before Daisey’s appearance, led to a mass of attention towards Apple’s production facilities in China.
Apple CEO Tim Cook addressed the issues surrounding working conditions in China at a Goldman Sachs conference.“Apple takes working conditions very seriously,” said Cook, launching right into a question about how Apple handles working conditions. “We take the conditions of workers very seriously. I worked in factories, I worked at a paper mill. We understand working conditions at a very granular level.”
The series of New York Times articles including How the U.S. Lost Out on iPhone Work and In China, Human Costs Are Built Into an iPad, have not been retracted. That goes for Joel Johnson’s 1 Million Workers. 90 Million iPhones. 17 Suicides. Who’s to Blame? article in Wired as well.
After those reports, Apple announced that it had reached out to the Fair Labor Association, a non-profit that investigates working conditions for laborers around the world. The organization levied its report late last month, saying that it had found a variety of labor violations to do with overtime hours, safety and payroll.
Daisey defended his actions, saying he used lies about some aspects of Apple in order to represent the ‘totality’ of his experience in China.
Now, he has removed himself from the public eye which had been rightly unflinching in its criticism. His blog now redirects to a private profile and his Twitter account has been closed.