A short film by Apple that cast Oscar-winner Octavia Spencer as Mother Nature in which she scolds CEO Tim Cook was met with scorn and derision for “greenwashing” the tech giant’s carbon footprint.
The five-minute sketch aired Tuesday during Apple’s much-ballyhooed unveiling of its latest line of products, including the iPhone 15.
In the clip, Cook and his Apple staffers await Spencer’s arrival while seated in a conference room at the company’s Cupertino, Calif., headquarters.
Spencer, the star of hit films like “Hidden Figures” and “The Shape of Water,” then quickly grills the group about Apple’s green initiatives.
“Let’s cut to the chase,” she tells Cook. “In 2020, you promised to bring Apple’s entire carbon footprint to zero by 2030.”
“Henry David Thoreau over here said, ‘We have a profound opportunity to build a more sustainable future for the planet we share,’” Mother Nature adds, quoting Cook, who gave a befuddled look after her reference to the famed naturalist and author of “Walden.”
The executives respond by running down a list of steps that the tech giant has taken toward carbon neutrality, including eliminating plastic from its packaging and operating on clean energy.
“Our aim is to permanently remove carbon from the atmosphere,” one staffer tells Mother Nature.
Cook then chimes in: “As you can see, we’ve innovated and retooled almost every part of our process to reduce our impact on the planet,” Cook adds. “But there’s still a lot more work to do.”
On social media, the reaction was scathing.
“Apple’s ‘Mother Nature’ sketch was a complete dud,” wrote X user Steven Sinofsky. “This is greenwashing but the green is…profit.”
“We’re reaching levels of corporate cringe previously considered to be impossible,” added user Laura Wendel, a startup founder.
Another X user offered their own suggestion as to how the company could better protect the environment, writing: “Then stop making new phones every year. Make phones upgradable.”
“If only you believed in innovation as much as you do left-wing tropes,” wrote another X user.
The Apple boss’ acting chops were also mocked.
“Tim Cook needs to stay away from acting and all Apple events,” wrote an X user.
The Post has sought comment from Apple.
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