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Apple employees divided over decision to fire executive over viral TikTok: WSJ

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  • Apple employees seem to have mixed reactions to the firing of former executive Tony Blevins.
  • The tech giant fired Blevins in response to brash comments he made in a viral TikTok.
  • Former colleagues told the WSJ that they had never witnessed sexist or unprofessional behavior while working with Blevins.

Months after former Apple executive Tony Blevins was fired in September for making rude remarks in a viral post on TikTok, colleagues and colleagues at the tech giant seem to have mixed feelings about his dismissal.

Staff members who previously worked with Blevins told the Wall Street Journal for a recent story that they had not witnessed any sexist or unprofessional behavior, noting that he sometimes used comedy to broadcast heated moments. Blevins worked as vice president of purchasing at Apple for 22 years and was highly regarded for his negotiating skills and his ability to cut costs, according to the Journal.

Blevins’ downfall came as a 25-second video. The former executive is asked what he does for a living leaving his Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren, a rare luxury car priced over $500,000.

“I have rich cars, I play golf and fondle busty women, but I take weekends and long vacations,” Blevins replies, in what he later claimed was a reference to the 1981 movie “Arthur”.

The video, which was posted by Daniel Mac as part of a series where he interviews people with expensive cars about their careers, has now been viewed 2 million times. It was also reported to Apple’s human resources team, prompting an executive to contact Blevins.

Blevins told the Journal that he spent all night trying to contact Mac to remove the video from TikTok after Apple contacted him at 1:30 a.m. asking him to take it down immediately. According to Blevins, an executive told him “it’s really bad, some people have complained.”

Blevins was eventually asked to resign, and when he refused, he was fired without severance in September, he said.

“It completely shocked me,” he told the Journal. “My whole life has been Apple. I’ve tried to be the most loyal person.”

While some staffers were surprised by his firing, others told the Journal the decision was important to uphold inclusion and prevent discrimination at Apple.

“Leaders must embody the principles of Apple,” Chris Deaver, a former senior human resources manager at Apple who left in 2019, told the WSJ.

Apple’s decision has sparked widespread debate among those who found the shooting to be extremeand others — including etiquette experts who have previously spoken to Insider — who say it’s “never appropriate” to make such comments.

“We all know the old adage ‘loose lips sink ships,'” Diane Gottsman, etiquette expert and founder of the Protocol School of Texas, told Insider in September. “It’s never appropriate to make a condescending comment. Even if it’s a riff from a movie, it’s still not appropriate – it’s offensive, it’s dismissive and it’s humiliating.”

After he was fired, company executives still planned a going away party for him — a move Blevins told the Journal he deemed “hypocritical” after firing him. It was eventually cancelled.

“That was 22 years dissolved in about 25 seconds,” Blevins said.



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