updated 09:45 am EST, Mon February 20, 2012
Special may have conflict of interest
ABC is now teasing its upcoming special on Foxconn, which airs on Nightline Tuesday at 11:35PM Eastern/Pacific time. Called iFactory: Inside Apple, the special claims to show how Apple products are made at Foxconn's major campus in Shenzhen, China. It comes in response to renewed criticism of working conditions at Apple suppliers, which in the case of Foxconn have included complaints like low pay, extreme hours, and debatable safety; a number of Foxconn workers have thrown themselves from buildings in the past couple of years.
The objectivity of the documentary may be questionable. ABC was granted special access to Foxconn by Apple, but ABC is owned by Disney; Disney CEO Bob Iger is on the Apple board of directors. The Steve Jobs Trust also owns a substantial amount of Disney shares, and Apple and Disney have collaborated together for several years. Disney content, for instance, is regularly featured on the iTunes Store and in Apple marketing.