The Public Theater has issued an updated statement from artistic director Oskar Eustis regarding the Public’s position on the misprepresentation of facts within Mike Daisey’s solo performance piece, The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs, which recently wrapped up a run at the theater.
Daisey has come under fire in the last week after Ira Glass and This American Life broadcast a retraction in regards to Daisey’s appearance on the popular radio show, which followed upon the discovery that Daisey had lied about certain aspects of the story. As recently reported, a scheduled appearance by Daisey in Chicago — which was to have been sponsored by This American Life — has already been canceled in the wake of these revelations.
“We would not have called it nonfiction had we known that incidents described in the piece were fabricated. We didn’t know, and the result was that our audience was misled. The piece had a powerful, positive impact on the world, and we are proud of that. But that doesn’t relieve us of the responsibility of honoring our contract with our audience.
“As artists, we know that truths do not always hinge on facts. However, when we present pieces whose power depends on their claim to authenticity, we must hold ourselves to a different and higher standard of accuracy. We must ascertain, to the best of our ability, that the facts presented in the piece are, in fact, facts. We will do so in the future.”