What you need to know
- One of Apple's recent hires is García Martínez, a former Facebook product manager and author of "Chaos Monkeys."
- Some Apple employees aren't too happy about this and a petition has circulated expressing concerns about this new hire.
- Apple employees say that excerpts from "Chaos Monkeys" are racist and sexist.
Update, May 12 (9:30 pm ET): García Martínez is reportedly no longer with Apple following backlash from employees.
Apple has recently hired Antonio García Martínez, who was a former Facebook product manager, as well as the author of "Chaos Monkeys." As reported by The Verge, a petition is now circulating among Apple employees calling for an investigation into the new hire due to concerns about his views on women and people of color.
With this petition, employees are concerned that his Martínez's hiring "calls into question parts of our system of inclusion at Apple, including hiring panels, background checks, and our process to ensure our existing culture of inclusion is strong enough to withstand individuals who don't share our inclusive values."
Martínez was a project manager for Facebook's ad targeting team from 2011 to 2013, and he has also written for Wired in the past. But these aren't the main issues of concern — it's what he has written in "Chaos Monkeys" itself, which Martínez has dedicated to "all his enemies." The book is an autobiography that follows Martínez's life from Wall Street to Silicon Valley, and he describes it as "total Hunter S. Thompson/Gonzo mode." According to Apple employees who are petitioning against his hiring, "Code Monkeys" is racist and sexist.
One particular screenshot from the book has been making rounds on Twitter, where Martínez calls women from the Bay area "soft and weak, cosseted and naïve despite their claims of worldliness, and generally full of shit."
It's no surprise that Silicon Valley is composed mostly of working white males, and there is a very noticeable lack of women and other people of color in the industry. A notorious ex-Google employee, James Damore, suggests that is due to the fact that women and people of color "lack the innate qualities needed to succeed in tech." Judging from waves of sex discrimination lawsuits, however, we get a different story: the underrepresented minority groups have simply been prevented from succeeding in the first place.
Apple's workforce consists of about 40% women, but only about 23% of that is in research and development, at least according to Apple's latest diversity report. The other half of the workforce is white, with about 27% being Asian. You can read the full report from Apple's page, which says, "Across Apple, we've strengthened our long-standing commitment to making our company more inclusive and the world more just. Where every great idea can be heard. And everybody belongs."
Here's the full letter that is in the petition:
Eddy and I&D champions,
We are deeply concerned about the recent hiring of Antonio García Martínez. His misogynistic statements in his autobiography — such as "Most women in the Bay Area are soft and weak, cosseted and naive despite their claims of worldliness, and generally full of shitEd" (further quoted below this letter) — directly oppose Apple's commitment to Inclusion & Diversity. We are profoundly distraught by what this hire means for Apple's commitment to its inclusion goals, as well as its real and immediate impact on those working near Mr. García Martínez. It calls into question parts of our system of inclusion at Apple, including hiring panels, background checks, and our process to ensure our existing culture of inclusion is strong enough to withstand individuals who don't share our inclusive values.
It is concerning that the views Mr. García Martínez expresses in his 2016 book Chaos Monkeys were overlooked — or worse, excused — during his background check or hiring panel. We demand an investigation into how his published views on women and people of color were missed or ignored, along with a clear plan of action to prevent this from happening again.
Inclusion isn't just about who we hire; it's also about how we support everyone who already works at Apple. Given Mr. García Martínez's history of publishing overtly racist and sexist remarks about his former colleagues, we are concerned that his presence at Apple will contribute to an unsafe working environment for our colleagues who are at risk of public harassment and private bullying. We are entitled to insight into how the People team intends to mitigate this risk. bd
Further, the explicit, conscious biases expressed in Mr. García Martínez's writing will continue to slow our I&D progress as long as they are tolerated by those with the power to affect hiring decisions and career trajectories. At a minimum, we demand assurance that Mr. García Martínez and any who share his harmful views will not be involved in hiring, interviewing, or performance decisions during their tenures at Apple.
Finally, we expect and deserve a transparent, intentional, and detailed strategy from Apple to ensure our culture of inclusion is strong enough to protect our team members against biases like these that ANY new hire brings. Our training calls attention to the unconscious biases that contradict our stated values, but no amount of training can inspire a commitment to inclusion in someone who objects to its basic premise.
We have included a selection of direct quotes below this letter from Chaos Monkeys and interviews with Mr. García Martínez that showcase some of the statements he's made. We are aware that Mr. Martinez has claimed that the quote above is taken out of context, but the full passage is no less harmful. We are also aware that Mr. Martinez has attempted to distance himself from these statements by claiming that they represent widely held attitudes in the tech industry. This is not a tenable position. In reproducing these harmful stereotypes, and in materially benefiting from them, Mr. Martinez shows himself to be a participant in this culture and only furthers the sexism and racism that our I&D initiatives are working to counteract.
Thank you for hearing our concerns. We look forward to your response regarding Apple's plans to continue moving toward a more inclusive workspace.
If you are curious about more excerpts from "Chaos Monkeys," you can check them out on The Verge.
Update, May 12 (9:30 pm ET) — García Martínez is reportedly no longer with Apple following backlash from employees
According to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, Apple has fired recently hired ads executive García Martínez due to the comments made in his book "Chaos Monkeys."