Golden Globes: Ricky Gervais compares Apple to Isis in front of Tim Cook

'If you win, come up, accept your little award, thank your agent, and your god, and f*** off'

Anthony Cuthbertson
Monday 06 January 2020 11:33
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Ricky Gervais calls out Apple's 'Chinese sweatshops' at Golden Globes

Apple boss Tim Cook was among those targeted in a scathing opening monologue by Golden Globes host Ricky Gervais, who criticised the tech giant for operating “sweatshops in China”.

Gervais, who hosted the award show for the fifth time on Sunday night, made the remarks in front the tech CEO, who was in the audience in support of Apple TV+ series The Morning Show.

Gervais described The Morning Show as “a superb drama about the importance of dignity and doing the right thing, made by a company that runs sweatshops in China”.

Addressing the star-filled audience, Gervais continued: “You say you’re woke but the companies you work for, I mean, unbelievable – Apple, Amazon, Disney – if Isis started a streaming service, you’d call your agent.”

“If you do win an award tonight, don’t use it as a platform to make a political speech. You’re in no position to lecture the public about anything... so if you win, come up, accept your little award, thank your agent, and your god, and f*** off.”

Apple has consistently been accused of worker violations in Chinese factories where iPhones and other devices are assembled.

A report by China Labor Watch in September claimed that around half of the workforce employed in the largest iPhone factory in Zhengzhou were temporary workers.

Chinese labour laws forbid companies from using temporary workers for more than 10 per cent of its employees. Apple responded to the report by saying "most of the accusations are false".

Factory operator Foxconn, however, admitted to "some workforce compliance issues".

Apple did not immediately respond when contacted by The Independent about Gervais's remarks.

Mr Cook’s reaction to the barb by Gervais was not caught by TV cameras, but the tech boss appeared unphased by the remarks in a tweet congratulating the nominees and winners.

"Congratulations to all of tonight's Golden Globes winners and nominees," he wrote. "It's an honour to be in the company of so many amazing storytellers. Our thanks go out to everyone who brings these remarkable stories to life."

The Morning Show received three nominations at the 77th Golden Globe Awards but did not win anything.

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