A Theatrical Call for Action

Andrew Dickson, ASST. Features Editor

Steve Jobs’ passing was a massive moment in American culture, but lately, a new light has been cast over the Apple legacy.

Mike Daisey’s theatrical monologue, “The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs”, has brought to light a very troubling issue with the company. The issue is the way the iPhones and iPads are manufactured.

In order for the West to bask in the cutting edge of Apple tech, workers in the East are treated as modern-day slaves working long hours for little money.

Daisey, an Apple enthusiast, began to question his favorite brand when he began to learn of the unfair treatment of laborers in the company’s factories. Daisey took a trip to southern China where he interviewed workers and decided to channel all the horror he encountered into theatre.  The impact is far-reaching and powerful.

After the popular radio show, “This American Life”, posted the monologue along with a call for labor reform within Apple. In addition, in just two days, the petition attracted over 140,000 signatures.  It was not long after when the New York Times picked up the story, which helped the performance to be catapulted into the public eye.

Presently, shows are sold-out, and Daisey is in the process of considering larger venues, transcribing the monologue into a film, and releasing it into public domain.  Such measures are sure to spread awareness of an issue that does not just affect Apple, but other companies with similar labor practices as well.

Whether or not Apple will reform its policies is up in the air, but the fact remains that a theatrical performance has triggered widespread activism.