Eddy Cue blasts Alex Gibney's 'mean-spirited' Steve Jobs documentary at SXSW

Posted:
in General Discussion edited March 2015
A fresh cinematic look at the life of late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, directed by Oscar-winning documentarian Alex Gibney, has been met with scorn from Apple employees following its debut at the annual South by Southwest film festival.




"Very disappointed in SJ:Man in the Machine," Apple software and services chief Eddy Cue wrote on Twitter. "An inaccurate and mean-spirited view of my friend. It's not a reflection of the Steve I knew."

Other Apple employees who saw the film during its screening in Texas reportedly walked out early, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

According to its playbill, the documentary is a "provocative and sometimes startling re-evaluation of the legacy of an icon." Some who have seen the film have said that Jobs is portrayed in an extremely unflattering light, with several well-worn tales used to highlight his temper and sometimes socially uncouth manners.

Gibney is a well-regarded documentarian, having collected numerous accolades for his work. His Taxi to the Dark Side, an examination of U.S. government policy toward torture, won the 2007 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature, while he garnered an additional Oscar nomination for Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room and took home three Emmy Awards and a Peabody for Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God.

Gibney is only the latest to draw contempt in the process of profiling Jobs. The tome generated by Jobs's hand-picked biographer, Walter Isaacson, is similarly reviled, with Apple design czar Jony Ive saying recently that his "regard [for Isaacson's book] couldn't be any lower."

That streak looks set to end with the release of a new Jobs biography, penned by Brent Schlender and Rick Tetzeli. That book --?Becoming Steve Jobs: The Evolution of a Reckless Upstart into a Visionary Leader --?has been widely praised, with Cue calling it "well done and first to get it right."

Schlender and Tetzeli's take is available for pre-order now, with its release set for March 24.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 43

    I love this recent desire to "tear down Steve Jobs" and "show the world his true face".

     

    The director of this farce claims that Jobs shouldn't be held in any regard.

     

    Well, most of the people seeking to do this would hate it if their dirty laundry was aired, or they're just miserable, jealous people. Absolutely shameful.

     

    I also love when people claim they won't buy Apple products "because Jobs was evil".

    Because, you know, Gates, Schmidt, Ellison, these are all just saints. :rolleyes:

  • Reply 2 of 43
    Can people understand that while Steve did some cool/good/great/interesting things - he also wasn't a saint?

    He was an ass at times. Anyone who has known anyone who worked with him has heard stories. He seems to have changed later in his life, but most people wouldn't have wanted to work with him BUT that he also had another side to him.

    People are complicated. Just look into Mother Theresa and you can learn that. And she IS a saint. Officially now. Official Saint. You get a discount everywhere you shop.
  • Reply 3 of 43
    adrayvenadrayven Posts: 460member

    Irony is.. this response is what the director is after. He's known for skewing things to get any response.. His own admitted view is to create 'provocative' films.. He's not after truth, not even a little. 

     

    To him; even a bad response is good for publicity. /shrug

     

    Was Jobs an ass at times.. Yes.. but I can guarantee this director will take it far past that just to get people in the seats. He doesn't care as long as it makes him $$$..  This is probably a large reason why studio's kept dropping it.. Who's the latest one's to pick it up again?

  • Reply 4 of 43
    xixoxixo Posts: 422member
    Apparently he never flushed the toilet. Ugh.

    (It's in Issacson's book)
  • Reply 5 of 43

    A proud graduate of the Mike Daisey School of Filmmaking.

     

    'Nuff said.

  • Reply 6 of 43
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,219moderator
    People are complicated. Just look into Mother Theresa and you can learn that.

    Yeah, people are led to believe that her gaunt appearance is due to her selfless commitment to charity in poverty-stricken parts of the world when, according to a new documentary, it was really down to her addiction to bath salts. Crazy junkie.
    Can people understand that while Steve did some cool/good/great/interesting things - he also wasn't a saint?

    He was an ass at times. Anyone who has known anyone who worked with him has heard stories. He seems to have changed later in his life, but most people wouldn't have wanted to work with him BUT that he also had another side to him.

    What's important when you have an abbreviated means of conveying an impression of someone's entire life is that you convey the right message overall. If someones sleeps 8 hours a day their entire life and a film maker focuses on the sleeping during a 1 hour documentary then they leave an impression of that person being lazy. Sorkin's documentary is supposed to be in real-time at 3 events, if Steve went to the bathroom for 30 minutes at each event, the audience would just be left thinking he spent all his time in there.

    Tim Cook said that Steve shouted at him maybe 4 or 5 times; if you accumulate them together, you leave a bad impression but you'd be leaving out 13 years of him not shouting at him.

    They did this with the female harassment video on Youtube. The girl walked around for 10 hours, got a few catcalls and condensed it down to a 1.5 minute video so when people watch it, they write that the woman was 'constantly harassed' just walking around.

    I'm just glad the current staff at Apple are willing to put their truthful views forward so that members of the public aren't left with a false impression. That's not to say film makers or writers should leave out the bad parts but there's always an agenda to focus on those as being the important parts.
    xixo wrote:
    Apparently he never flushed the toilet. Ugh.

    (It's in Issacson's book)

    Isaacson's book needs a good flushing.
  • Reply 7 of 43
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post



    Isaacson's book needs a good flushing.

    I think Issacson got most of the material for his book from unflushed stuff.

  • Reply 8 of 43
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post



    Isaacson's book needs a good flushing.

    Saw Isaacson this morning on CNBC.

     

    I'd say it's not just the book that needs a good flushing.... <img class=" src="http://forums-files.appleinsider.com/images/smilies//lol.gif" /> 

  • Reply 9 of 43
    gregqgregq Posts: 62member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Mark Fearing View Post



    Can people understand that while Steve did some cool/good/great/interesting things - he also wasn't a saint?



    He was an ass at times. Anyone who has known anyone who worked with him has heard stories. He seems to have changed later in his life, but most people wouldn't have wanted to work with him BUT that he also had another side to him.



    People are complicated. Just look into Mother Theresa and you can learn that. And she IS a saint. Officially now. Official Saint. You get a discount everywhere you shop.

     

    I'd agree with those sentiments, and other comments about attacking the deceased since they can't answer back. I'm not totally sure what the main purpose of this documentary is for?

  • Reply 10 of 43



    It's just worth remembering that every person one deals with has multiple sides to them. How they deal with stress, failure and success. But part of the human psyche seems to want heroes. When what we get are complicated people with irrational desires. From listening to people who worked near him or with him, I don't think I would have enjoyed it. Would the positives been enough to put up with the negatives? I don't know. I do know of people who left Pixar because of him. Maybe it was for the best, maybe not. I've also suffered in jobs where my boss felt they were a genius and demanded endless attention to please them.  Placing ridiculous deadlines on their workers backs and expecting all to accept this without disagreement. And it turned out they were just needy people who wanted attention and didn't know what they were doing.

     

    I am a huge fan of SJ. I have been since I first knew about him. Since I first used a Mac. But he was just another flawed human. Made up of good and bad. In the end, I think it's obvious what side tilted the scales. He had a vision and ability to make great things and spot talent. If I had been enmeshed at Apple as an employee in 1984 or 1999 I have no idea if I would have liked him as a boss or been looking for a new job.

     

    And I won't turn this into a political thread but the Chatterjee research and Hitchens essay are what I mean when I talk about Mother Teresa.

  • Reply 11 of 43
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,595member
    I don't know anything about this film but I hope it goes some way to highlight the other sides of Jobs. I am not talking about his 'nice' side but rather what he achieved as an entrepreneur, marketer, creative and CEO. If those achievement came at a cost to his employees and friends then fine, lets hear it, but I really don't see the point in 'exposing' his darker side for the sake of it. Not that I mind the blind hero worshipping of Jobs to be taken down a notch or two.

    People are complicated. Just look into Mother Theresa and you can learn that. And she IS a saint. Officially now. Official Saint. You get a discount everywhere you shop.

    Yup - Google 'Christopher Hitchens on Mother Theresa' - and you'll see views that see her as anything but a saint.
  • Reply 12 of 43



    Yes, the Hitchens piece is what I speak of. And I think one of Jobs abilities that gets skipped over was his ability to hire great people. The ability to build a great team is more important than any vision I think. Walt Disney also had a great eye for talent. Jobs seems to have had that skill.

  • Reply 13 of 43
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,595member

    Yes, the Hitchens piece is what I speak of. And I think one of Jobs abilities that gets skipped over was his ability to hire great people. The ability to build a great team is more important than any vision I think. Walt Disney also had a great eye for talent. Jobs seems to have had that skill.

    I am a fan of Hitchens and it has never crossed my mind wether he was a nice guy or not. It is completely irrelevant. I think there are a number of reasons for which people justifiably admire Jobs but being a nice guy is probably not one of them. Personally I am fine with that.
  • Reply 14 of 43
    bdkennedy1bdkennedy1 Posts: 1,459member
    It's sponsored by CNN, which has a history of distorting the truth and outright lying.

  • Reply 15 of 43
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 2,462member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by xixo View Post



    Apparently he never flushed the toilet. Ugh.



    (It's in Issacson's book)



    Nope, Isaacson did not write that, nor did anyone else. Isaacson quoted Steve's sister's book of fiction based loosely on Steve, based on what she thought she knew of him. The quote is: "He was a man too busy to flush toilets." So even if it is true about Steve, there's good reason. And it doesn't necessarily mean he never or even rarely flushed the toilet... or that he even failed to flush more than twice! :smokey: 

  • Reply 16 of 43
    thomprthompr Posts: 1,511member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by sog35 View Post

     

    I dont understand how these tools can bad mouth a guy in his grave. 

    Can Jobs wife just not give them permission to make profits by bad mouthing the man?


    You don't need anyone's permission to badmouth somebody.  Unauthorized biographies are a dime a dozen.  It's called freedom of speech.  That's not to say that there won't be ramifications if the author doesn't do enough diligence to cover him (or her) self from libel, but that's not hard to achieve when you hide behind the mantel of "journalist" who is just reporting what others are willing to vouch for (wrong or not).

     

    So, no, Jobs' wife can't just "not give them permission".

  • Reply 17 of 43
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 2,462member

    What has been released about the film seems to depict it as sick or demented, perhaps as a consequence of the character of those who produced it.

  • Reply 18 of 43
    cityguidecityguide Posts: 129member
    Perhaps Mr. Gibney should reflect his own life in a documentary with the working title of "AG: Man in the Mirror."
    His personality is no less acerbic and his style no less confrontational than Jobs'.

    The main difference is one of them stated (and I'm paraphrasing) that he wanted to put a ding in the Universe.

    The ripples are still expanding thought as far as Apple is concerned. Gibney, not so much, though I give him credit for the Enron piece.
  • Reply 19 of 43
    gtrgtr Posts: 3,231member
    Here's a story some of you may not heard:

    "Regis McKenna, Apple’s original marketing guru, met the 22-year-old Jobs when he drove up to his house on a motorcycle and talked about how he wanted to build Apple into a global brand. McKenna sat in on Apple executive meetings from 1983 to 1987, and the two men remained close throughout the years.

    “In 1998 my wife and I bought five iMacs as Christmas gifts for our grandchildren. We watched them open their presents, and when 5-year-old Molly opened her iMac, she said, ‘Life is good.’ Unfortunately, Molly’s iMac developed a problem. After using it a few hours, the disc drive door would not open. The dealer told me he was not authorised to exchange the computer for another one due to an Apple policy. Repair would take several weeks, he told me. I sent an e-mail to Steve and asked him about Apple’s return/exchange policy on a new product. Within five minutes my phone rang. It was Steve. He asked me what the problem was and the name of the dealer. ‘I’ll call you back,’ he said. A few minutes later the phone rang and it was a very apologetic dealer. ‘I have a new iMac here for your granddaughter,’ he said. I e-mailed Steve, thanking him and assuring him that he had made my granddaughter’s Christmas a happy one. Steve immediately replied with a simple ‘Ho, ho, ho.’'"
  • Reply 20 of 43
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,152member
    Quote:

    "Yet this man, whose belief in his own righteousness was unshakeable, also terminated Apple’s philanthropic programmes, presided over huge corporate tax evasion, paid Chinese workers making iPhones a pittance, and only stumped up maintenance for his first daughter after dragging his ex-girlfriend through the courts, claiming that she was promiscuous and he was infertile, until a DNA test proved otherwise. Finally, he agreed to pay $500 a month – he was worth $200m at the time."


     

    This trashy, skewed, agenda-driven, loose-with-the-facts summary is all I needed to read to determine the quality of this hit-piece. 

     

    - Yeah, if I was attempting to lead a company out of irrelevancy and near-bankruptcy, I would also focus things by culling all non-essential programs, until the situation  improved, and the capacity to give potentially becomes much greater. If Jobs didn't take this approach, Apple would either not exist today, or not be in the position it is in, where it is doing infinitely more good than it otherwise could have. 

     

    - Steve Jobs personally paid Chinese workers a pittance? My, I learn something new everyday. What disgusting, crass statement. Yeah, the salary of those workers have nothing to do with China, nothing to do with Foxconn or the companies that actually EMPLOY the workers, nope, the salaries of these people was all up to the great Steve Jobs. 

     

    - The family shit is not even worth commenting on, it's so low brow, and beaten like a dead horse already. All evidence points to the fact that Jobs becamse a much better human being later in his life, he was loved by his wife and family, and by all accounts he was loyal to them. But yeah, that's irrelevant, let's demonize him for shit he did when he was 20 yrs old, for which we only have one side of the story. That's journalism for you.  

    This documentary just seems like hit-piece trash, a nasty, superficial look at Jobs meant to create controversy and attention. Let's ignore the thousand of anecdotes of people who say they wouldn't trade anything in the world for their experience of working with the guy, or the other thousand that maintain how Steve helped, mentored, and guided them. I doubt if Jobs was such a disgusting human being, people like Tim Cook would have offered him their liver. There are so many anecdotes of him going out of his way to make someone's day and to help people in the capacity that he could. 

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