These open letters to Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, were written by participants in the Fall 2011 Theater Teen Reviewers and Critics program after attending a performance of THE AGONY AND ECSTASY OF STEVE JOBS at The Public Theater, one of our cultural partners. At the end of Mike Daisey’s performance, fliers are distributed with information about Apple’s labor practices, which he discusses in the show, along with Tim Cook’s email address and a call to action. Mr. Daisey suggested emailing Mr. Cook with concerns and comments, in light of the situation at Apple. He politely asked that we do not send SPAM. We obliged, and decided to publish them as open letters here as well.
Below are excerpts from the letters, with links to the full text:
“Daisey was successful in dispensing the truths behind the production of technology’s latest products, the emphasis being on Apple. I was ignorant of the manpower that fueled the production, distribution and satisfaction of the hungry masses. They are tired. The workers are tired.” –Carina Clores
“Mr. Cook, you can help make Apple even better in Steve Jobs’ wake. Even if he’s gone, you can help the company’s reputation, their policies, their products. You can do this by forcing plants to stop hiring underage workers. You can do this by forcing plants to pay overtime and set a maximum amount of hours to be worked each week. You can do this by helping better the work conditions, by making Apple products clean instead of allowing them to be covered in the blood of thousands of overworked innocents.” – Cecilia Kim
“Apple has long shone as a beacon of inspiration for tech geeks everywhere. Unfortunately, as more and more people learn of the methods by which your beloved products are made, more and more of us feel like Apple has let us down. I’d love to see Apple as an unstoppable force of good, a shining beacon of hope for ALL people, all around the world.” – Logan Erickson
“I know I’m only one person and Apple has billions of other brainwashed people, but I solemnly swear I am never buying another Apple product until the end of time. Not only are they overpriced, (I mean really, $1200 for a laptop?) but I would feel too much guilt using it [...] I still use my iPod Touch 3rd Gen. but I don’t plan on getting another updated version and I haven’t updated to iOS 5.” – Sean Scotto
“Apple is a giant company now that has a responsibility, not only to shareholders or even customers, but to the world. Being large enough to influence history is to hold a huge responsibility. Perpetuating the class divisions and supporting exploitation only traps the people below you in their respective economic classes.” – Lucian Li
The New York Times has also run a series of recent articles detailing Apple’s labor situation in China: check them out here and here. Also, Mike Daisey’s website has a wealth of information and ongoing dialogues with people responding to his show, the Times articles, and the THIS AMERICAN LIFE episode he was recently featured in. Check it all out.