Following his quick release by Apple, reportedly due to employee backlash over his hiring due to a passage from his 2016 autobiography, Antonio Garcia Martinez has commented, on the situation.
Garcia Martinez joined Apple’s advertising team in April and then was let go in May, following the circulation of an employee petition calling for an investigation into his hiring.
Garcia Martinez discussed the firing during a Twitter Spaces chat with tech journalists Kara Swisher and Casey Newton. He termed his dismissal a “snap decision” on the part of Apple management. Martinez said a strict non-disclosure agreement prevented him from providing additional information regarding the move and he claims to have been in the dark about the petition prior to a recent news blitz.
Employees that signed the petition said they were concerned over Garcia Martinez’s views on women and people of color, citing a passage from his autobiography “Chaos Monkeys” that described women in the Bay Area as “soft and weak, cosseted and naive despite their claims of worldliness, and generally full of shit.”
Garcia Martinez told Swisher that the sentence was taken out of context, saying it was meant to cap off a joke made about his then-girlfriend. He added that the section in question was actually a “paean” of praise about the unnamed woman. Garcia Martinez said that his editor wanted to cut the paragraph, not for its potential to cause controversy, but for brevity’s sake, but that he was adamant that the line stay in.
“In retrospect, I would not have written it that way,” Garcia Martinez said.
During the conversation, discussion repeatedly returned to the separation — or lack thereof — of a person’s private and professional lives. Garcia Martinez framed it as an unwelcome injection of culture and politics into the workplace.
“I don’t know that conflating all those things is judicious or fair,” he said.
Garcia Martinez said that right now he just wants to put the episode behind him and concentrate on ad tech. However, the controversy has shined a light on larger questions related to power dynamics in the workplace and how to best handle employee discontent.
One side-effect of the controversy is that sales of Garcia Martinez’s book, “Chaos Monkeys” are booming.