Former Apple employee Antonio García Martínez has refuted the company’s portrayal of his high-profile ouster this week and claims Apple knew about his past writings demeaning women and people of colour, which came under fire from employees this week, before it made a job offer.
“Apple was well aware of my writing before hiring me. My references were questioned extensively about my bestselling book and my real professional persona (rather than literary one),” he wrote in a Twitter thread Friday. “I did not ‘part ways’ with Apple. I was fired by Apple in a snap decision,”
“Apple has issued a statement that clearly implies there was some negative behaviour by me during my time at Apple. That is defamatory and categorically false,” Martínez continued. He argued that Apple “actively recruited” him for the role on its ads team, even roping in one of his former colleagues to “convince” him to take the job.
On Wednesday, the Verge reported that Apple employees circulated a petition objecting to his hiring and asking for an investigation. At issue is Martínez’s autobiography Chaos Monkeys, which chronicles his journey from Wall Street to Silicon Valley. The petition, which you can read in full here, cites several “overtly racist and sexist remarks” from his writing, such as when he refers to Bay Area women as “soft and weak, cosseted and naive despite their claims of worldliness, and generally full of shit.”
In another damning passage, the former Facebook product manager writes: “There were few women one would call conventionally attractive at Facebook. The few there were rarely if ever dressed for work with their femininity on display in the form of dresses and heels.”
Apple employees argued that Martínez’s “misogynistic statements” didn’t align with Apple’s stated values concerning diversity and inclusion. They also called for Apple to explain how its recruitment team either missed or ignored his published views before offering him the position.
Hours after the Verge’s report, Apple told Bloomberg that it cut ties with Martínez.
“At Apple, we have always strived to create an inclusive, welcoming workplace where everyone is respected and accepted,” an Apple spokesperson told the outlet. “Behaviour that demeans or discriminates against people for who they are has no place here.”
Apple declined to comment on details of his departure and has not confirmed what job title Martínez held, but sources say he was hired as a product engineer on Apple’s advertising platform team, according to Bloomberg. Apple did not immediately respond to Gizmodo’s request for comment, but we’ll update this blog once they do.
The iPhone maker and other tech giants have repeatedly come under scrutiny for their lack of workplace diversity. Apple’s latest diversity statistics show that 66% of its employees are male and 47% are white despite notable increases in its number of women, Hispanic, Latino, and Black workers in recent years.