Update: Apple Music’s Jimmy Iovine Apologizes For His Mansplaining Comments

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Update, 8:15am on Nov. 20: Jimmy Iovine issued a statement to Refinery29 via an Apple spokesperson:

"We created Apple Music to make finding the right music easier for everyone — men and women, young and old. Our new ad focuses on women, which is why I answered the way I did, but of course the same applies equally for men. I could have chosen my words better, and I apologize.”

Original post:

Jimmy Iovine, middle-aged white man and head of Apple Music, went on live television with Mary J. Blige today to mansplain his streaming service to us. Happy International Men’s Day to all.

Visiting CBS This Morning to debut a slew of new advertisements for the gargantuan streaming service, the legendary music producer — who, Gayle King reminds us, has worked with everyone from Patti Smith to Lady Gaga — said, “I’ve always known that women find it very difficult at times — some women — to find music.”

He says this, and Norah O’Donnell immediately validates him. “He’s talking about me,” she says, and he backtracks, adding “I found that out a minute ago.” Right.

King then asks where his creative concept for the commercial starring Mary J. Blige, Taraji P. Henson, and Kerry Washington began. Open mouth, insert foot: “I just thought of a problem. Girls are sitting around… talking about boys, right? Or complaining about boys. Or they’re heartbroken or whatever. They need music for that, and it’s hard to find music.”

It’s actually never been easier to find music, and we don’t have Apple, nor the likes of Iovine to thank. The music industry has changed so drastically since the turn of the millennium because of millennials, the majority of whom are understood to be — wait for it — women.

After a decade or more of iTunes fighting against the foundations of today’s streaming services, the success of Apple Music is indebted to our ingenuity and impatience, to our low tolerance for bullshit, and to our unprecedented ability to constantly adapt to new technologies.

Women don’t find it very difficult to find music, but they do find it very difficult to take a man like Jimmy Iovine seriously when he taints his own campaign with such tone-deaf sentiments.

If you’ve had any trouble finding music since, I don’t know, the advent of Napster, feel free to correct us in the comments. But if Apple wants to keep up its aspirational all-inclusive image, their figureheads and mouthpieces might want to dispense with such condescending language toward their female customers.

But the worst part of this gaffe? It's not just that Iovine was clueless enough to make these comments. It's that he made them before a roundtable of three of the most established women in entertainment and media. And not one of them called him out on it.
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