Fox Business Network apologised Friday after a commentator called Apple CEO Tim Cook a “bigot.”
The comments were in response to Cook’s column in the Washington Post admonishing Indiana’s religious freedom law and other potential laws like it.
On Wednesday’s “Imus in the Morning” show, which is simulcast on Fox Business, Bernard McGuirk called Cook a “bigot hypocrite” for “running his mouth” about the new law.
McGuirk is a regular contributor and works for the Imus show, not Fox, but the show is broadcast on Fox Business.
Below is the full transcript of the conversation, provided to Business Insider from a Fox Business News spokesperson. The segment was between Fox anchors Dagen McDowell and Connell McShane who were filling in for regular host Don Imus that day. Fox did not have a video of the segment readily available.
McGuirk: There is a lot of hypocrisy. First of all, Governor Cuomo he tells all his state employees don’t go to Indiana but he’s going to Cuba where gay marriage is illegal and they maybe throw you in jail. You have this hypocrite, this bigot hypocrite, Tim Cook, who is running his mouth about the whole thing.
McShane: The Apple CEO?
McGuirk: Yeah. He sells products to Iran. He sells products to Saudi Arabia where they execute people if they’re gay.
McDowell: A hypocrite maybe, but a bigot?
McGuirk: A religious bigot, yeah. He won’t allow these religious people to exercise their freedom.
McShane: That seems too strong to me.
McGuirk: It does seem strong but in my opinion. It happens to be accurate. If he doesn’t allow this Orthodox Jewish guy to refuse service…the point of the law is to allow him to exempt himself from a certain situation.
McShane: This will end up back in Supreme Court somewhere.
McGuirk: And the governor of Connecticut. Meanwhile the state has the same law.
McShane: But I think there is a difference in the law in terms…there are small differences in these laws. Some of these state laws are just to protect you against the government not against another person. So there are differences in those state laws.
McGuirk: Gay rights and religious freedom are not mutually exclusive. They both can exist in the same universe and compromises have to be made. That’s just the way we work things out in this country. Tim Cook has to put his money where his mouth is. If he really feels that way stop marketing Apple products in Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Nigeria where they not only dump on women and treat them as second class citizens but as I said they would execute gay people.
Here’s the full apology for the comments, as read on air by Dagen McDowell on Fox Business on Friday:
“Earlier this week on the Imus in the Morning radio program, which is simulcast on this network, there was a comment made calling Apple CEO, Tim Cook, a bigot. The Fox Business Network would like to make it clear that we in no way believe that. Mr. Cook runs a company that is an American success story and Apple has become a worldwide brand.”
The Indiana law that was recently passed was designed to protect the religious freedoms of business owners. But critics feared it would allow business owners to discriminate against members of the gay community. On Thursday, Indiana lawmakers modified the law to clarify that it does not allow discrimination based on sexual orientation.
In in his op-ed, Cook wrote that laws like the one passed in Indiana and others being considered in states like Texas could bring about a new wave of discrimination, effectively allowing businesses to not serve people based on their sexual orientation.
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