In January, This American Life posted a radio episode called “Mr. Daisey and the Apple Factory”. In it, Mike Daisey took listeners on a trip through the Apple factories in China. Hearing about everything that happened in these Foxconn factories caused quite a bit of outrage, and started a snowball effect of people demanding more transparency from Apple about its business practices.
Transparency is exactly what we got.
As of today, the episode was retracted by This American Life, claiming Mr. Daisey fabricated many of his claims. One of the most outlandish claims was where Daisey met a factory worker whose hand had been mangled while working on an iPad production line, and showed the worker a finished iPad that he had never had the opportunity to se before. The interpreter accompanying Daisey told fact checkers that nothing like this ever took place.
Here’s the full notice from This American Life:
This American Life has retracted the above story because we learned that many of Mike Daisey’s experiences in China were fabricated. We have removed the audio from our site, and have left this transcript up only for reference. We produced an entire new episode about the retraction, featuring Marketplace reporter Rob Schmitz, who interviewed Mike’s translator Cathy and discovered discrepancies between her account and Mike’s, and New York Times reporter Charles Duhigg, who has reported extensively on Apple. Ira also re-interviewed Mike Daisey to learn why he misled us.
The new episode is full of dramatic goodness, so be sure to go check that out.