An artist admitted Friday to taking shortcuts in crafting an often harrowing tale about Apple’s operations in China after the veracity of his one-man theatrical show was challenged by a public radio programme that had based a broadcast on his work.
But writer Mike Daisey said he stands by his monologue and called what he does theatre, and not journalism.
“It uses a combination of fact, memoir, and dramatic license to tell its story, and I believe it does so with integrity,” Daisey said in a statement posted on his website.
Translated this means a combination of facts and lies.
In his monologue performance, which currently running at the Public Theater in New York, Daisey describes meeting very young workers who put in very long hours and were forced to do crippling, repetitive motions at factories that make Apple products in China. Some he claimed had been poisoned by a chemical called hexane.
But This American Life says a China correspondent for the public radio show Marketplace named Rob Schmitz located and interviewed Daisey’s Chinese interpreter, who disputed much of the artist’s claims.
Daisey, in an interview with Glass broadcast as part of Friday’s episode of The American Life, admitted that he didn’t meet any poisoned workers and guessed at the ages of some of the workers he met.
“This American Life” said in its statement that staffers asked Daisey for his interpreter’s contact information while fact-checking the story. Daisey replied the cellphone number he had for her didn’t work anymore and he had no way to reach her.
So he also tried to cover up.