by Noah Carl
Monday, 17
May 2021
Reaction
11:04

Apple’s casual sacrifice of Antonio García Martínez

Petitioners demanded an investigation — the tech firm chose to fire him instead
by Noah Carl
Former Apple employee Antonio García Martínez

Last week it was reported that Apple had recently hired Antonio García Martínez, author of the 2016 book Chaos Monkeys, which gives an insider’s perspective on Silicon Valley tech culture. Garcia Martínez has now been sacked, following a petition signed by over 2,000 Apple employees.

This is actually not the first tech company from which García Martínez has been ejected. From 2011 to 2013, he was director of Facebook’s Ad Exchange, but the company fired him “for a variety of reasons, he says, including insubordination”. However, the man’s latest run-in with controversy stems not from anything he did at Apple, but from what he wrote in his book five years ago.

According to the petitioners, García Martínez has a “history of publishing overtly racist and sexist remarks” which “directly oppose Apple’s commitment to Inclusion & Diversity”. They provide a number of examples — taken out of context — from Chaos Monkeys, such as the statement, “Most women in the Bay Area are soft and weak, cosseted and naive despite their claims of worldliness, and generally full of shit”.

Based on their concern that García Martínez’s presence at Apple will “contribute to an unsafe working environment”, they demanded “an investigation into how his published views on women and people of color were missed”, as well as assurance that he “and any who share his harmful views will not be involved in hiring, interviewing, or performance decisions”. Apple decided to simply fire him instead.

I can see why people wouldn’t appreciate García Martínez’s irreverent writing style, but the book — which received many positive reviews — was written in personal capacity five years ago. Organising a petition to denounce him now is just malicious. And claiming that he will “contribute to an unsafe working environment” is absurd — construction sites and oil rigs are unsafe working environments, not office-bound tech companies.

Of course, García Martínez’s detractors believe he’s just another example of the sophomoric “tech bro” culture that pervades Silicon Valley.

More interesting than the Apple employees’ collective denunciation of García Martínez is the company’s decision to fire him. (Even the petition didn’t call for his firing.) They must have known about his controversial statements, as they caused a bit of a stir when the book was published, and it was a New York Times bestseller. This suggests the company fired him to placate the mob, rather than because they had a principled objection to what he wrote.

Of course, Apple – like most large companies nowadays – has painted itself into a corner when it comes to dealing with these kinds of accusations, given its own stated promises to be more “inclusive”.

The incident is yet another indication of big tech’s willingness to censor anyone who offends the sensibilities of its young and increasingly woke workforce. Though García Martínez will probably weather the storm (he once complained about his pay at Facebook falling to “just $550,000 a year”), what it says about companies like Apple is more concerning. It’s no longer good enough to say the right things today; you now have to make sure you didn’t say the wrong things in the past. And if enough of your colleagues kick up a fuss, you’ll get hung out to dry.

Noah Carl is an independent researcher and writer. You can follow him on Twitter @NoahCarl90

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Brian Dorsley
Brian Dorsley
1 year ago

It’s funny how ‘inclusive’ environments are quick to fire people who don’t toe the line. ‘Inclusive’ is a term of which I’ve become wary.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
1 year ago
Reply to  Brian Dorsley

Inclusion by exclusion. The Borg on Star Trek were at least honest about their aims – you will assimilate. No toddler-like pearl-clutching, no rants, just assimilation. Sure, they were fictional characters but life is now imitating art.

William meadows
William meadows
1 year ago
Reply to  Brian Dorsley

The Japanese started a war with China, when captains thought it a good idea! H. Q. found out 2 weeks later. The tail waging the dog,

Waldo Warbler
Waldo Warbler
1 year ago

The rational response to anyone who thought that this man’s opinions from five years ago made them “unsafe” would be to insist that they seek professional help, or fire them – but not to fire him.

kathleen carr
kathleen carr
1 year ago
Reply to  Waldo Warbler

I’m not sure about all the details but a boy whose school had one of those terrible shootings was offered a place at a good university, supposedly in recognition of his trauma. This was then withdrawn when a ‘kind’ girl sent them tweets or something he had made years earlier. Don’t let your toddlers near the internet-they might be ruining their life chances.

Johnny Sutherland
Johnny Sutherland
1 year ago

I was going to make much the same comment. Does no-one remember “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me”? It seems that these days the pen is truly mightier than the sword and that even spoken words can cause more damage.

Personally I’d still prefer a verbal insult than being hit over the head by a brick.

Albireo Double
Albireo Double
1 year ago

.

Last edited 1 year ago by Albireo Double
David Fellowes
David Fellowes
1 year ago

Had the remark been about women, perhaps; but “women in the Bay area” is easily justified, as witness their response

Susannah Baring Tait
Susannah Baring Tait
1 year ago
Reply to  David Fellowes

Excellent observation!

Bob Bepob
Bob Bepob
1 year ago
Reply to  David Fellowes

Consider the possibility that they weren’t interested in him.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
1 year ago

This sort of thing has almost become rote. Is anyone truly surprised that the wokerati would dig into someone’s past, mangle a few quotes to alter their meaning, and then demand a scalp? Is anyone further surprised that a corporation would once again bow to the mob instead of suggesting that its members grow up? No and no. This is not going to stop; the purity tests will be ongoing until the new Jacobins encounter the same fate as the old.

Bob Bepob
Bob Bepob
1 year ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

That quote was mangled? How can it mean something else?

kathleen carr
kathleen carr
1 year ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

There are now ordinary staff-not editorial, who feel they have the right to dictate which books their firms publish & will stage protests if they dislike the author

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
1 year ago

You would think that someone who makes the claim of unsafe working environment is in fact creating an unsafe working environment and should be dealt with in the same way as they advocate for their targets

James Wardle
James Wardle
1 year ago

I seem to remember suicides in the Apple factory in China (or Far East) a few years ago? Chernobyl or Fukushima. They feel more like an unsafe working environment.
This is driven by narcissism in the form of being able to effect significant change through being offended, more than likely because Apple employees who likely complained are an employee number with little to no influence. Even Apple has dogsbodies, college grads who feel unchallenged and demotivated when they found out 3 months after getting used to their salary, they are not treated as special, are unseen and feel trapped by massive debts and so now what, 40 years of that?
I saw this in call centres. Bright people who thought they were on the up, quickly demotivated by flat structures, poor organisation of work with no ability to self manage and bored/angry people create trouble for distraction and more. Ive seen people take pleasure in having a little power to make someone else suffer. NARCISSISM.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
1 year ago

It beggars belief that this sort of thing is condoned. What has happened to the thought leaders, the innovators, the square pegs, the geniuses, the mavericks and the rebel heroes? Are they not employed by Apple any longer? Not a very promising prospect.

Simon Coulthard
Simon Coulthard
1 year ago

Apple isn’t seen as the trailblazer it once was and I hear the best engineers want to work for Tesla now

Bob Bepob
Bob Bepob
1 year ago

Really? To do what? That story’s over.

Alex Mitchell
Alex Mitchell
1 year ago

Not sure of the demographic in the area, but had he dismissed these as ‘boomers and Karens’ they probably would have applauded it.

Paul N
Paul N
1 year ago

That seems a little… excessive. Perhaps Apple had other reasons for parting ways with their new hire. Or maybe they are that excessive.
It’s a worrying approach to evaluating fitness for employment. I mean that sort of approach could have denied the conservative party and the country the leadership gifts of the author of Seventy-Two Virgins.

Vóreios Paratiritís
Vóreios Paratiritís
1 year ago

What a boring future The Elect have planned for us. Sexless, predictable, harmless. Who wants a harmless existence. F this.
Freedom requires offence harm and hurt. Let’s not give up on being human yet.

Last edited 1 year ago by Vóreios Paratiritís
Quentin Vole
Quentin Vole
1 year ago

It’s no longer good enough to say the right things today; you now have to make sure you didn’t say the wrong things in the past.
And further, what is considered ‘wrong’ can change day by day, if not hour by hour.

David Simpson
David Simpson
1 year ago

Can anyone remember how the Salem witch fest ended? Apple should beware, but it may already be a brain dead zombie company. It certainly won’t be lonely

jules Ritchie
jules Ritchie
1 year ago

Apple is the big loser. This guy will take his skills somewhere else and I hope it’s a company competing against Apple. Hard to believe a huge tech giant listens to a a small tho’ noisy crowd. Of course the thousands and thousands of others who don’t mind working in the same company as Martinez are silent- laziness, that’s our problem.

Dan Martin
Dan Martin
1 year ago

Three words – Human Resources Departments. Corporations rented out whatever morals they possessed to these Woke Trojan Horses, and they are unwilling or unable to break the contract.

J Bryant
J Bryant
1 year ago

I’m too lazy to research Mr. Martinez but I’d like to know why Apple hired him in the first place? What value did they think he brought to the company? He seemed like a bad fit for such a PC environment.

Bob Bepob
Bob Bepob
1 year ago

The pushback against woke-ism is justified and needed when it comes to political opinions. However that anti-woke coverage doesn’t extend to someone who aggressively insults in sexist terms 50% of the local population that makes up a company’s recruitment pool. Firing was extreme if he showed contrition or apologized, but if he still believes it, too bad. Words are important. Companies fire execs all the time if they don’t like them.

Last edited 1 year ago by Bob Bepob
Bob Bepob
Bob Bepob
1 year ago
Reply to  Bob Bepob

Say you had a 22 year old daughter from the Bay Area trying to make it and she just got hired by Apple…

iainhailstones
iainhailstones
1 year ago

It’s alright to be a victim.
Some people are very good at it.

Jeffrey Chongsathien
Jeffrey Chongsathien
1 year ago

Big Tech = Big Fascists.