Hugh Grant eviscerates new iPad Pro ad for promoting the ‘destruction of the human experience’

New advert sees a collection of instruments and other artistic objects crushed by an industrial press

Tom Murray
Thursday 09 May 2024 07:06 BST
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Hugh Grant has joined the backlash against Apple’s new advert for the iPad Pro, which has drawn the ire of Hollywood creatives.

The commercial, titled “Crush!”, sees various objects including a piano, paint cans, an arcade machine, a DJ deck, a TV, books and more being crushed by an industrial press.

When the press lifts back up, the new iPad Pro is revealed in the place of all the flattened items, implying it has the functionality to achieve everything that the objects did.

Resharing Apple CEO Tim Cook’s promotion of the ad on Twitter/X, Grant wrote: “The destruction of the human experience. Courtesy of Silicon Valley.”

Apple did not immediately respond to The Independent’s request for comment.

Meanwhile, British filmmaker Asif Kapadia (Senna) wrote: “Like iPads but don’t know why anyone thought this ad was a good idea. It is the most honest metaphor for what tech companies do to the arts, to artists musicians, creators, writers, filmmakers: squeeze them, use them, not pay well, take everything then say it’s all created by them.”

Filmmaker and actor Justine Bateman, who has served as an adviser to SAG-AFTRA on AI issues, replied to Cook’s tweet saying: “Truly, what is wrong with you?”

“If you thought THIS IPad ad was weird, you should have seen the first cut where they lined up all your favorite characters and shot them,” actor, writer and producer Luke Barnett wrote.

American cartoonist James Kochalka added: “I’m definitely the target audience for the new iPad Pro but this ad is tone-deaf and insulting to artists of every kind. We think of our tools with reverence and respect, and enjoy a healthy dialogue with them. Our tools are like trusted companions on the journey of art.”

Hugh Grant and Apple’s ‘Crush!’ advert
Hugh Grant and Apple’s ‘Crush!’ advert (Getty Images/Apple)

The new updates mark the biggest upgrade to the iPad line-up in several years, as Apple looks to reignite interest in its long-running tablet computer range.

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The new iPad Pro will include a high-quality OLED display for the first time, as well as Apple’s new, own-made, top-of-the-range M4 chip, which the company says means the new devices are 50% faster than the previous generation and ten-times faster than the original iPad Pro model.

Apple senior vice president of hardware engineering, John Ternus, said the new Pro “pioneers our most advanced technologies, and pushes the limits of what an iPad can be”, adding that the new device was the “iPad we’ve always dreamed of making”.

It seems to have struck a particular nerve in Japan, with plenty of Japanese commenters expressing their anger.

Even outside Japan, the ad has not gone down well, with users showing their frustration with how tone deaf it is.

It will go on sale next week alongside a new version of the iPad Air, which will be sold in its traditional 11-inch size, as well as in a new 13-inch model.

Additional reporting from agencies

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