Tim Cook’s visit to The Late Show with Stephen Colbert on Tuesday touched on Apple’s recent charitable efforts and gave the CEO an outlet to vent on the rash of Steve Jobs-related movies. Asked by Colbert about how he feels about the oft-unflattering portrayal of Jobs on the big screen, Cook defended his late boss and labeled filmmakers as “opportunistic.”
“I haven’t seen them,” he said of movies like Ashton Kutcher’s Jobs or the upcoming Steve Jobs, starring Michael Fassbender, “but the Steve I knew was an amazing human being. He’s someone that you wanted to do your best work for. He invented things that I think other people could not. He solved things other people could not. He had this uncanny ability to see around the corner and to describe to the future.”
Cook added that Jobs “was a joy to work with and I love him and I miss him every day. I think a lot of people are trying to be opportunistic and I hate this. It’s not a great part of our world.”
Later in the interview, Colbert asked whether Cook’s experience of growing up gay in Alabama (“a resident outsider,” he said) informed his decision to come out publicly and, notably, create Apple’s first charitable arm.
Cook then cited a Martin Luther King, Jr. quote (“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is what are you doing for others”) and told Colbert that it “became so clear to me that kids were getting bullied in school. Kids were getting discriminated against. Kids were even being disclaimed by their own parents. And that I needed to do something. And that where I valued my privacy significantly, I felt I was valuing it too far above what I can do to help other people. And so I wanted to tell everyone my truth.”
And that’s when Cook probably made his press handler’s week, squeezing in a reference to Apple’s biggest product. “Most people already knew” he was gay “so for many people it was no revelation. It was like discovering something in your iPhone — it’s always done but you didn’t quite know it.”
Watch a clip from the appearance: