Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert on Tuesday night.
He barely sat down when Stephen Colbert picked up a new iPhone 6S from his desk and cheekily asked: ‘Is there … there is no new charger, right? The same old charger?’
Tim Cook confirmed there is no new charger. To which Stephen Colbert hilariously responded: ‘Good. Because I will stab you in the neck with a fondue fork! Right now!’
The upfront charger and fondue fork shenanigans aside, the interview soon took a fascinating turn as it focused on Tim Cook the person, rather than Apple the technology.
One issue Stephen Colbert focused on was Tim Cook’s coming out and what effect that had on his work advancing human rights:
Stephen Colbert: ‘You yourself came out as gay recently. Was that an upgrade or just a feature that had not been turned on?
And the reason I ask … the reason I ask is, is that, is that experience of growing up in Alabama as sort of a, a resident outsider because of your sexuality, did that inform in any way your trying to help people in hardship around the world?’
Tim Cook: ‘It did, yeah.
In all honesty, every day I come to work, I have right in front of my desk I have a photo of Robert Kennedy and a photo of Dr. King. And every day I sort of ask myself, it sort of it was Dr. King’s quote that said “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is what are you doing for others?”
It became so clear to me that kids were getting bullied in school. Kids were getting basically discriminated against, kids were even being disclaimed by their own parents. And that I needed to do something.
And that where I valued my privacy significantly, I felt that I was valuing it too far above what I could do for other people. And so I wanted to tell everyone my truth.’
A fascinating insight, and a timely reminder we all have a responsibility to do whatever we can to prevent discrimination, advance human rights, educate our fellow human beings, and try to make the world a better place for all.
Next, Stephen Colbert turned to a more controversial matter, asking Tim Cook: ‘With this increased sense of social responsibility, many people criticised Apple in the past about your supply chain and how your products are manufactured around the world. Have you taken that sense of responsibility to the way the products are created?’
Tim Cook noted Apple has been working hard to affect positive changes in its supply chain from ensuring workers know their rights, to introducing college classes to manufacturing plants.