Wozniak Still Backs Mike Daisey


Photographer: Norman Ng/Bloomberg

Steve Wozniak still supports Mike Daisey.

Mike Daisey must be feeling some agony after his one-man show, “The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs,” was outed for embellishing its supposed first-hand accounts. But Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak is still a big fan of the performance, which he saw more than a year ago.

Wozniak, who started Apple with Jobs in 1976, has been an outspoken supporter of Daisey.

It’s unusual for someone who takes a paycheck from Apple to also back the monologue, which is based on a trip Daisey made to Shenzhen, China. That’s where the largest factory of Apple’s largest supplier, Foxconn, is located. Daisey has chastised Apple on stage and in interviews for its use of cheap Chinese labor, which is common in the electronics industry.

In an e-mail today, Wozniak said he agrees with Daisey, despite the performer’s admissions that he didn’t actually see many of the issues he claimed to witness. Wozniak told us:

I was moved by the performance … the acting abilities … and I agree with Mike’s portrayal of them … coming from my own understanding of the nature of this method of communication.

Mike is so great at this that I want to see it again if at all possible.

The Off-Broadway Public Theater where Daisey performs also seemed to support the performer after today’s controversy. “Mike is an artist, not a journalist,” the theater said in a statement. “Nevertheless, we wish he had been more precise with us and our audiences about what was and wasn’t his personal experience in the piece.”

Wozniak told the Bay Citizen about a year ago that he “will never be the same after seeing that show.”

“The shocking things that Mike said which brought me to tears were so because they came as a first-person story,” Wozniak said then. “It wasn’t just a presentation to an audience. Mike was living the pain of what he was describing as he told it. Sometimes you see a good presentation but occasionally the pure honesty of it comes about from a ray of genuineness.”

Wozniak didn’t mention “pure honesty” or “genuineness” in the e-mail today, but he still believes that Daisey puts on a good show.

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