Even With Daisey’s Lies Peeled Away, Apple’s Rotten Core Exposed
Apple’s brand glared in the media spotlight this past week, after the public learned that performance artist Mike Daisey’s theatrical rendering of the struggles of Apple factory workers contained false claims—painfully exposed on an episode of the radio program This American Life. But if one fundamental truth has emerged from the scandal surrounding Daisey’s dramatic fudging, it’s that the lived reality of many Chinese workers is undoubtedly bleak—no embellishment needed.
Daisey’s personal account is gratuitously peppered with fabrications, but the story of systematic exploitation is essentially true. For years various watchdog groups have tried to hold Apple accountable for harsh working conditions in China, which have been linked to workplace-related suicides and health hazards. Since a number of young workers killed themselves in 2010, the consumer advocacy campaign Make IT Fair, together with the Hong Kong-based Students Against Corporate Misbehavior (SACOM), have documented systematic abuses: exhausting hours, an oppressive, militaristic workplace culture and, despite conciliatory pay hikes, extremely low wages in comparison to the tremendous corporate profits and brutal working conditions.
It should be noted, however, that Daisey’s "dramatic license" was debunked largely through the real findings of intrepid investigations by advocates and professional reporters, which some commentators have highlighted amid the media fallout. As part of its “Retraction” episode, in fact, TAL interviewed New York Times reporter Charles Duhigg about the real story behind Daisey’s fictions.
Its interesting to note that some of Daisey's "fabrications" amount to claiming that he was personally present at events and locations that he was not. In most of the cases not only are the facts unchallenged they are openly acknowledged (worker sucide, horrific accidents due to no safety measures or regulations, and so on)
Originally Posted by In These Times
Yeah, Daisey's "fabrications" were due to no "documentation" - not due to lack of truth...
Originally Posted by Kid of the Black Hole
Worse than that, it IS all documented..just that Daisey wasn't personally there, didn't speak to the victims himself etc
Originally Posted by Dhalgren