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‘Steve Jobs’ screenwriter slams Apple’s Tim Cook over ‘opportunistic’ snub


Steve Jobs

Earlier this month, Apple CEO Tim Cook described movie-makers capitalising on the death of former Apple boss Steve Jobs as “opportunistic”.

But that public snub hasn’t sat well with the screenwriter of the upcoming “Steve Jobs” movie.

Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Aaron Sorkin said: “Nobody did this movie to get rich.”

Sorkin continued: “Secondly, Tim Cook should really see the movie before he decides what it is.”

The writer also turned out one particularly accusatory accusation, saying: “Third, if you’ve got a factory full of children in China assembling phones for 17 cents an hour you’ve got a lot of nerve calling someone else opportunistic.”

Tim Cook originally made his comments earlier this month, speaking on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

The CEO admitted that he hadn’t watched the ‘Steve Jobs’ movie yet, but he wasn’t keen on such works.

“The Steve I knew was an amazing human being,” said Cook. “He’s someone that you wanted to do your best work [for]. He invented things that I think other people could not. He solved problems other people could not.”

Cook added: “I think that a lot of people are trying to be opportunistic, and I hate this; it’s not a great part of our world.”

At the time, Cook also rebutted the suggestion that Apple’s supply chain is built on the ill-treatment of workers.

“In our supply chain, we train everybody on…their rights as we see them,” explained the CEO.

He added: “We have a really high bar. We bring college classes to our manufacturing plants because we want people to grow and move up their own career ladder.”

However, Apple’s questionable supply practices have been the focus of several pieces of investigative journalism, which likely sparked Sorkin’s comments.

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The Steve Jobs movie, which is directed by Danny Boyle and stars Michael Fassbender, is due to release in New York and Los Angeles on October 9, with a wider release scheduled for October 23.

Do you think Sorkin has overacted, or is Cook being too quick to judge? Tell us your thoughts in the comments.

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September 26, 2015, 2:08 pm

An "accusatory accusation"? Is there another sort? Put a Thesaurus on your Christmas list!


September 26, 2015, 3:12 pm

Always ignored in articles like this is that Apple was the last computer maker to move its manufacturing overseas. Early articles on the working conditions in the contract factories in China also mentioned that HP computers were being built by the same company in the same building under the same conditions. No one even bothers with that anymore if there is a chance to turn overseas working conditions into a smear against Apple. Anyone that thinks that the assemblers of Samsung or other bottom feeder Android phones fare any better are foolish indeed. As for the "opportunistic" statement. What is this, the third Jobs movie? They did not need another one. I expect there will be a fourth one trying to undo the damage of this one. And if you believe Sorkin does not do it for the money, well....

Bjorn O. Sigurdsson

September 26, 2015, 4:30 pm

As market leader and the richest corporation in the world, Apple carries the greatest responsibility. Also there is a difference between doing something "for the money" and doing it to get rich. People do Jurassic Park 15 to get rich.


September 26, 2015, 5:19 pm

The richest corporation on the planet could put a stop to these Steve Jobs movies if it really cared. Or was that just Katie Cotton who could be bothered to act upon words?

Movie marketing, pure and simple. The opportunity to create buzz and get you to see the movie, duh.


September 26, 2015, 5:36 pm

Aaron Sorkin: “Nobody did this movie to get rich.”

Yes Aaron, Hollywood studios and the people they hire (like you) are NOT in the business to make money, everyone is totally altruistic... Yeah, that's the ticket!

Aaron Sorkin: “Third, if you’ve got a factory full of children in China assembling phones for 17 cents an hour you’ve got a lot of nerve calling someone else opportunistic.”

And FOURTH, if you make up imbecilic "facts" like that, no one will believe anything you have to say.

a. Apple does NOT own any of the assembly factories in China which make almost ALL of the electronics products in the world;
b. those factories are NOT "full of children" and in fact those companies strive to weed out any of the few under-aged workers that may have gotten in; and
c. people who work in those companies assembling Apple's products get much higher wages (thanks to pressure from Apple) than those doing work assembling products on lines for other companies.

Aaron when people, such as yourself, revert to making inane and false comments in order to defend their positions, they have clearly lost the argument... and all credibility.


September 26, 2015, 7:13 pm

Bjorn O. Sigurdsson: "there is a difference between doing something "for the money" and doing it to get rich"

Just because this particular movie is not going to be the box-office success that Jurassic World has been, it does NOT mean that the people involved in its production are any less mercenary. Their aspirations are exactly the same; it's just the results that vary.

By the way, Jurassic World entailed a much larger budget and required many more individuals to produce than this “Steve Jobs” movie did, so the payout for the screenwriters of both movies may be very similar.

The Pool Man

September 26, 2015, 11:22 pm

Aaron Sorkin (and fellow producers) are about 'influencing'. If you paid attention during the Facebook movie, it was nothing about Facebook. It was about how okay it is to steal ideas from people too 'stupid' to see their potential profits -- and then profiting from such stolen ideas. And being a dick whle you're doing it.

SOCIAL NETWORK and this movie are made by conseratives with a message: being a greedy dick is A-OK. Or to be timely -- TRUMP IS GOOD.

Don't be a sucker.

Bill Rabara

September 28, 2015, 12:26 pm

Fair points. Yet make no mistake, Apple and other big American corporations know damn well their choice to give production to Chinese corporations results in workers getting paid 1/10th what an American would get paid and working under deplorable, unethical conditions. Yeah to free trade and corporate greed. In the end we get cheaper products, but at what cost ?

Alex Walsh

September 28, 2015, 2:08 pm

curse those accusatory accusations!

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