The radio episode aired a monologue from actor Mike Daisey about his experiences at Foxconn, in which he fabricated the number of Foxconn factories he visited, the number of workers he spoke with, and claims from several workers that they were poisoned by chemicals used on iPhone assembly lines, Wired reported.
"Daisey lied to me and to 'This American Life' producer Brian Reed during the fact checking we did on the story, before it was broadcast," Glass wrote in a blog post on the TAL website Friday. "That doesn't excuse the fact that we never should've put this on the air. In the end, this was our mistake."
Daisey's monologue was sourced from his one-man play, "The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs," which he wrote after traveling to Shenzhen, China, to visit a handful of factories, including Foxconn, where most of Apple's hardware is manufactured, CNET reported.
The fabrications in Daisey's story will be explored in detail on this weekend's “This American Life” episode, which will devote its entire hour to the retraction and explanation of the piece, according to Glass.
“What makes this a little complicated is that the things Daisey lied about are things that have actually happened in China: Workers making Apple products have been poisoned by Hexane," said Rob Schmitz, a correspondent for another radio program, Marketplace, according to the New York Times. "Apple’s own audits show the company has caught underage workers at a handful of its suppliers. These things are rare, but together, they form an easy-to-understand narrative about Apple.”
The news of the retraction comes as protesters gathered outside Apple stores in Georgetown, San Francisco, and New York City to remind Apple consumers lining up to purchase the new iPad that the devices on sale Friday come from factories like Foxconn that have been criticized for poor labor practices, the Washington Post reported.
The protests were organized by the same group that mobilized consumers to deliver two online petitions from Change.org and SumofUs.org, and dozens showed up to protest the conditions reported in Apple’s factories around the world, according to the Post.
“The Apple store employees were all very welcoming of the protesters and didn’t make any moves to push them away or quiet them,” Sarah Ryan, a spokesperson for Change.org, said.
Still, the protestors were outnumbered by those lining up around the world to get their hands on Apple's latest iteration of the iPad. Check out our slideshow above to get a sense of the madness...or let us know if you experienced it first-hand in the comments.