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Mike Daisey alters Apple stage show to be closer to truth

updated 12:30 pm EDT, Sun March 18, 2012

Daisey tones down Apple-Foxconn claims in show

Stage performer Mike Daisey following a show exposť has scaled back his show, The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs, to be more accurate. He has dropped "anything he doesn't feel he can stand behind" from the story of his trip to Foxconn's main plant in Shenzhen, The Public Theater artistic director Oskar Eustis told the AP. A prologue also now exists that acknowledges This American Life's criticism and frames it as a story with core truths, but as a performance and not absolute fact.

During an initial Saturday afternoon performance, he encouraged the audience to read about the controversy. He jokingly made the "small request" not to start looking things up in the middle of the performance, as there would be ample time for that afterwards.

While the details of exactly what was cut weren't mentioned, they're likely to include those points directly challenged by TAL in its Friday episode, "Retraction." Among them are the assertion that he had met people affected by n-hexane poisoning, that a man he had met with a ruined hand had been with Foxconn and was mesmerized by an iPad, and that guards at the plant had guns. His translator has said that none of these were true. Daisey is still adamant that he met a 13-year-old girl working at the factory, although claims of meeting many underage workers have been under dispute.

He had said during the radio show that his main regret was clearing the use of the show for NPR and PRI as fact, rather than warning them in a step that would likely have kept it out of the segment altogether. "It's not journalism," he said," "it's theater."

Eustis added that there was no intention to pull the play and that The Public Theater as a stage wasn't responsible for checking facts, even if it wanted the facts to be right. The central issue of labor conditions in China was "incredibly important," and dismantling the entire argument would distract from the main issue, he said. Daisey still plans to continue performing the show and was hoping to go beyond New York City after its current run.

The play in its original form has been criticized both for misleading major news outlets as well as for its focus. While he uses Apple products, the title and emphasis have led many to falsely believe that only Apple uses conditions similar to Foxconn's when Dell, HP, Microsoft, Nintendo, Sony, and others also use it for manufacturing and haven't been subject to the same scrutiny.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Flyingjoe

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I cannot respect this man. He has deliberately lied and continues to do so. "This American Life" knows how to apologize - They owned it. This man is now slowly weaselling backwards out of the o****** he squeezed himself into along with all those who listened to him and who were misled with half-truths and lies. He sounds so much like the 3 leading republican candidates when they are being cornered by each other.

    I hope that people turn away from his show.

  1. Jubeikiwagami

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Lying slob.

  1. Feathers

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Not only...

    ...has he failed to admit outright that he has lied but in a mealy-mouthed sort-of retraction, he has effectively called the translator a liar instead, suggesting that he and she "remember things differently". This guy is a gross, dilettante, self-publicizing liar.

  1. chefpastry

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I bet all those fools who protested at Apple stores based on this idiot's lies feel pretty stupid right about now.

  1. Stogieman

    Joined: Dec 1969



    This guy has an erie resemblance of the singer Meatloaf.

  1. rtamesis

    Joined: Dec 1969



    The only reason he's cleaned up his act is because he got caught red handed. Otherwise, it's lying as usual.

  1. robttwo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    The new Michael Moore

    Take 10% fact - make everyone laugh with the lies - and pull in a fortune.
    This guy is a jackass.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. revco

    Joined: Dec 1969


    What a mess

    I saw the stage show. Two thumbs up. High entertainment value. With their "supreme journalistic integrity" the show shouldn't have gone on This American Life. Personally, I think the way Ira Glass handled the whole thing was clearly to promote his 'This American Life' show. I'm more disappointed with Glass than Daisy at the moment.

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