Bokhari: Ricky Gervais Called Out Big Tech’s Sweatshops – The Details Are Even Worse

Tim Cook at Golden Globes
Frazer Harrison /Getty

In his evisceration of Hollywood virtue-signalers at the Golden Globes yesterday, Ricky Gervais touched on an important point: A-list celebrities increasingly find themselves employed not by studios, but by tech companies with deeply questionable global business practices.

That’s not to say their traditional employers, the big Hollywood studios, are angels. But they’re less likely to come with the baggage of a smartphone manufacturer that assembles its products in Asian sweatshops.

That was the charge Gervais lobbed at Apple (with CEO Tim Cook in the room), which recently launched the Apple TV+ streaming service the hardware giant’s answer to Netflix.

Gervais was referring to Foxconn’s assembly lines in China, where workers earn around $3.15 an hour to produce iPhones — a far cry from the $15.00 minimum wage demanded by many of the Democrat presidential candidates backed by Hollywood stars.

At the largest of these factories, in Shenzhen, Foxconn had to install body-catching nets to prevent its employees from committing suicide by throwing themselves off the facility’s roof.

Google, which runs its own subscription streaming platform on YouTube, isn’t much better. It may be one step removed from the Samsung phones that run its Android operating system, but it is still linked to them — and conditions at Samsung production lines are not much better than Foxconn’s.

Movie stars have long been criticized for complaining about climate change while they swan around the world in private jets, and it’s easy to see another narrative of Hollywood hypocrisy emerging. Here are Bernie Sanders and AOC patrons who work for companies that rely on sweatshops and suicide nets.

Amazon, another company with a growing number of Hollywood A-listers producing shows and movies for its streaming service, is even more notorious for the working conditions at its facilities in the first world.

Scarcely a month goes by without another horror story from an Amazon warehouse: from reports of western Amazon employees being attended to by ambulance crews due to exhaustion, having to urinate in trash cans for fear of being scolded over too many bathroom breaks, or a system that would see its employees work in literal cages.

If Hollywood thought the writers’ strike made them look bad, wait until they’re attached to the workers’ rights horror-show that comes attached to Apple and Amazon. Pretty soon, people might start to think that Hollywood stars don’t actually care about ordinary people at all!

Are you an insider at Facebook, YouTube, Google, Reddit or any other tech company who wants to confidentially reveal wrongdoing or political bias at your company? Reach out to Allum Bokhari at his secure email address

Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News.


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