The popular radio show This American Life has come under fire for featuring a one-man show called “The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs,” which was performed by storyteller Mike Daisey at the Berkeley Rep last year.
In the performance, Daisey took on Apple’s manufacturing practices in China, accusing the company for poor working conditions and, in some cause, causing physical injury.
This American Life aired parts of the show earlier this year. It was one of the radio shows most popular segments with nearly 900,000 podcast downloads. The show sparked outrage among activists, who have launched a campaign to force Apple to change its business practices.
But today, This American Life retracted the story saying, “it can’t vouch for the truth of Mike Daisey's monologue about Apple in China.” The show, which is hosted by Ira Glass, will dedicate its entire program to detailing exactly what went wrong.
Much of that story is in a blog written by Marketplace Radio’s China correspondent Rob Schmitz, who broke the story. Schmitz has been reporting on Apple’s supply chain in China for the past year and a half. When he heard Daisey’s story, he wrote “certain details didn’t sound right. I tracked down Daisey’s Chinese translator to see for myself.”
At the time the story will post, Berkeley Rep couldn't be reached for comment.