Following a backlash over comments he made during a TV interview to promote his company’s music streaming service, Apple exec Jimmy Iovine is apologizing for suggesting that some women might have difficulty finding music.
During an interview on “CBS This Morning” on Thursday, the prominent music executive, who is now the head of Apple Music, unveiled a new commercial featuring Kerry Washington, Taraji P. Henson, and Mary J. Blige talking about his company’s service while they prepare dinner.
Speaking to CBS about playlists created to help women cut down on searching for music, Iovine said, “I always knew that women, some women, at times find it very difficult to find music… This helps make it easier with playlists, curated by real people, not by algorithms alone.”
A moment later, Iovine explained the concept behind the ad: “I just thought of a problem. Girls are sitting around… talking about boys, right? Or complaining about boys. Or they’re heartbroken or whatever. They need music for that, and it’s hard to find music.”
Iovine’s comments were immediately pounced on by a number of outlets, including fashion blog Refinery 29, which described them as “tone-deaf.”
Others described the comments as “sexist,” according to Entertainment Weekly.
Irvine issued an apology Thursday. “We created Apple Music to make finding the right music easier for everyone — men and women, young and old,” Iovine said in a statement. “Our new ad focuses on women, which is why I answered the way I did, but of course the same applies equally for men. I could have chosen my words better, and I apologize.”
Refinery 29’s Natasha Young accused the Apple Music head of “mansplaining” and wrote that such comments make it hard for women to “take a man like Jimmy Iovine seriously.”
“It’s actually never been easier to find music, and we don’t have Apple, nor the likes of Iovine to thank. The music industry has changed so drastically since the turn of the millennium because of millennials, the majority of whom are understood to be — wait for it — women,” Young wrote.
“CBS This Morning” co-anchor Gayle King tweeted Thursday that Iovine’s comments had been unfairly taken out of context.
— Gayle King (@GayleKing) November 20, 2015
Watch the new Apple Music ad below:
— Apple Music (@AppleMusic) November 19, 2015