'This American Life' Retracts Its Damning Episode About Apple And Foxconn

Foxconn

Photo: Apple

“This American Life” has retracted its episode on Apple and Foxconn.The episode detailed life at Foxconn and painted a damaging picture of life for employees.

It accused Foxconn of hiring 13-year-old employees and working them inhuman hours.

It turns out the person at the centre of the report, Mike Daisey, “partially fabricated” key details.

Daisey is a performance artist who had a one-man show on Apple. After seeing that show, “This American Life” producer and host Ira Glass asked him to record a modified version of the show.

In the episode, Glass said, “We have gone through his script and fact checked everything that was checkable … Overall, we checked with over a dozen people.”

“This American Life” now says Daisey “misled” the fact checkers.

It will air a full explanation on Sunday, and it will be, “separating fact from fiction, when it comes to Apple’s manufacturing practices in China.”

In the meantime, you can read a longer press release here that details much of what was wrong.

Daisey released his own statement on the matter. In short, he says, I am not a journalist and I should not have allowed my story to be presented as journalism:

“This American Life” has raised questions about the adaptation of AGONY/ECSTASY we created for their program. Here is my response:

I stand by my work. My show is a theatrical piece whose goal is to create a human connection between our gorgeous devices and the brutal circumstances from which they emerge. It uses a combination of fact, memoir, and dramatic licence to tell its story, and I believe it does so with integrity. Certainly, the comprehensive investigations undertaken by The New York Times and a number of labour rights groups to document conditions in electronics manufacturing would seem to bear this out.

What I do is not journalism. The tools of the theatre are not the same as the tools of journalism. For this reason, I regret that I allowed THIS AMERICAN LIFE to air an excerpt from my monologue. THIS AMERICAN LIFE is essentially a journalistic ­- not a theatrical ­- enterprise, and as such it operates under a different set of rules and expectations. But this is my only regret. I am proud that my work seems to have sparked a growing storm of attention and concern over the often appalling conditions under which many of the high-tech products we love so much are assembled in China.

NOW WATCH: Tech Insider videos

Want to read a more in-depth view on the trends influencing Australian business and the global economy? BI / Research is designed to help executives and industry leaders understand the major challenges and opportunities for industry, technology, strategy and the economy in the future. Sign up for free at research.businessinsider.com.au.

Tagged In

apple foxconn sai-us