Apple Fires Executive After He Makes Crude Remark on TikTok

The executive, who worked in procurement, was reportedly key in striking deals with parts suppliers.

Ian Sherr Contributor and Former Editor at Large / News
Ian Sherr (he/him/his) grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, so he's always had a connection to the tech world. As an editor at large at CNET, he wrote about Apple, Microsoft, VR, video games and internet troubles. Aside from writing, he tinkers with tech at home, is a longtime fencer -- the kind with swords -- and began woodworking during the pandemic.
Ian Sherr
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Apple logo in cream on the outside glass of the Apple Store on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan

Apple leaders like CEO Tim Cook have supported workforce diversity efforts.

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A longtime Apple executive involved with the company's procurement efforts has been fired following a crude comment he made to a popular TikTok interviewer earlier this month, according to a report by Bloomberg

The TikTok star, Daniel Mac, recorded himself approaching the Apple executive, Tony Blevins, who was driving an expensive Mercedes-Benz. When Blevins was asked what does for a living, he didn't mention his work at Apple but responded that he plays golf and fondles women. The 25-second video, posted to Mac's 13 million followers, has been viewed more than 1.3 million times.

Apple didn't immediately respond to a request for comment, but the company told Bloomberg that Blevins was leaving the company. Blevins also reportedly apologized for his vulgar remarks.

The move marks a high-profile example where Apple's leadership has stepped in to prove its commitment to stamping out bad behavior and supporting diversity. 

Their efforts have been challenged over the past couple years by vocal advocates from within the company who have said that some leaders and people involved in human resources aren't following through on the company's promises to create an inclusive and welcoming atmosphere for women and minorities. The past two years in particular, a group of hundreds of employees banded together on the web and social media under the hashtag #AppleToo and Apple Together.

Apple isn't the only company facing a reckoning. Other tech giants including AmazonGoogle parent Alphabet and Facebook parent Meta have found themselves under siege as well, as people question the power and influence they wield and how they manage company culture.

Bloomberg reported that after the clip of Blevins was published on both TikTok and Instagram, other Apple employees reported it to HR. 

The Wall Street Journal profiled Blevins two years ago, during which it described him wearing a cheap puka-shell necklace from Hawaii that he purchased for $2 price after negotiating it down from $5. It was a reminder to his staff, the WSJ reported, "that nothing should fetch full price."