Mike Daisey’s fall from grace was well documented after This American Life retracted a story about the worker abuses that the playwright claimed he saw at Chinese consumer electronics factories. Daisey — after several days of painful rumblings in which he said, among other things, “What I do is not journalism” — eventually apologized for making stuff up.
But the bombastic former Amazon.com employee who initially made his mark skewering the online retailer isn’t letting a few facts get in his way. Nope, he’s set to debut a reformatted version of his work — minus the fabricated stories he told audiences across the country in the first run.
Daisey, who has performed versions of the play since the controversy erupted, is set to bring the revised performance of the The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs to the Woolly Mammoth Theater Company in Washington D.C. later this month.
But this isn’t the same show that folks saw in Seattle or San Francisco.
According to a description on the theater’s Web site, the new performance is “stronger, sharper, and more important than ever.”
This all-new version cuts the contested material and addresses the controversy head on, using the struggle over fact and fiction to tell an even better story that pierces the heart of our human relationship with our labor.
If you think you’ve seen it before, you don’t know this story. If you think you heard it on the radio, you haven’t heard anything. And if you’ve never seen it, now is the moment to experience what many are calling the most notorious and controversial play of the decade.
And that’s not all. Apparently Daisey is inviting some of his toughest media critics to come see the new show, including The Washington Post’s Erik Wemple who said he recently got an invitation from the playwright. The blogger is skeptical, writing that it could be an opportunity to “put media critics on a firing line, the better to blast them in front of a rapt audience.”
[Note: We’ve updated this post to make clear that Daisey has continued to perform since the controversy. See his comment below].