“This American Life” has retracted Mike Daisey’s groundbreaking piece about working conditions at Foxconn, a Chinese manufacturer used by Apple and several other prominent technology companies.
A notice on the public radio program’s website said that the piece, “Mr. Daisey and the Apple Factory,” was “partially fabricated.”
The program will devote an entire episode to “detailing the errors” in the monologue.
Ira Glass, the host of the show, plans to talk with Daisey about how he “misled” the program during the fact-checking process.
"We’re horrified to have let something like this onto public radio," Glass wrote in a blog post. "Many dedicated reporters and editors – our friends and colleagues – have worked for years to build the reputation for accuracy and integrity that the journalism on public radio enjoys."
The retraction comes after “Marketplace” reporter Rob Schmitz spoke with Daisey’s translator to discuss discrepancies between their different accounts, and as the tech giant rolls out its latest iPad.
Daisey has since responded, arguing that his monologue, which was derived from his one-man show "The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs" was a piece of theater.
“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,” Daisey posted. “It uses a combination of fact, memoir, and dramatic license to tell its story, and I believe it does so with integrity.”
Daisey’s trip inside Apple’s major manufacturer led to a spate of stories about Apple’s connection with FoxConn, exposing the inhuman working conditions at the plant.
Daisey argues that subsequent investigations, including a revelatory series from the New York Times, validate his initial report.
Apple was outraged by the various stories, and CEO Tim Cook penned a staff memo to ensure employees that the company had taken every measure to improve working and living conditions at various suppliers.
Here's the Marketplace report: