New York Mike Daisey, the off-Broadway performer who admitted that he made up parts of his one-man show about Apple products being made in Chinese sweatshops, has cut questionable sections from the monologue and added a prologue explaining the controversy.
Oskar Eustis, artistic director of The Public Theater, where the monologue is being performed, said Saturday that Daisey has “eliminated anything he doesn’t feel he can stand behind” from the show and added a section at the beginning in which he addresses the questions over how he has been portraying the work to the media.
Eustis called the prologue “the best possible frame we could give the audience for the controversy” and said Daisey agreed to make the changes himself, which are “his and his alone.”
“Mike is a great storyteller, not a journalist. I wish he had been clearer about that distinction in the making of this piece,” Eustis said. “If we had understood the rules Mike was using to make the show, we would have framed it differently from the outset.”
Daisey portrayed his work as fact during a media blitz to promote his critically acclaimed show, and he misled dozens of news and entertainment outlets, including the popular public radio show “This American Life,” The Associated Press, The New York Times, MSNBC and HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher.”
But in an interview with “This American Life” host Ira Glass broadcast Friday, Daisey acknowledged that some of the claims in his show, “The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs,” weren’t true. The show retracted its Jan. 6 episode because Glass said he couldn’t vouch for the truth of its claims.
Daisey, who admitted Friday on his website that the work is a mix of fact and fiction, did not respond to questions sent to his personal email account, and his publicist did not respond to a request for comment Saturday.
The controversy is unlikely to lessen the media scrutiny of the Chinese factories that make Apple products, since news outlets including the Times have reported about the dangerous working conditions in them, including explosions inside iPad plants where four people were killed and 77 were injured.