"THE BIG ONE" HITS OR: NIKE CITES "INTELLECTUAL DISHONESTY"
Michael Moore unveiled the film Nike "didn't want the
world to see" Wednesday night in Portland, OR, as a "packed
house" watched the premiere of "The Big One," according to
Jeff Manning of the Portland OREGONIAN. Manning wrote that
the movie "travels a familiar but entertaining populist
path," and that its "climactic" scene shows a "surprisingly
chummy meeting" between Moore and Nike CEO Phil Knight last
August. During the meeting, Moore "admonishes" Knight for
taking most of Nike's manufacturing overseas, and asks him
to build a factory in Flint, MI. However, Manning writes
that the "tone" of the meeting "is always somewhat genial."
Moore, to Knight in the film: "I honestly think you're the
good guy. You're not General Motors." After the film's
premiere, Moore unveiled his "Just Build It" campaign,
asking viewers to write to Nike and ask it to build a
factory in Flint (Portland OREGONIAN, 3/26).
NIKE'S RESPONSE: Nike issued a statement concerning the
film: "In the interest of feeding the viewer what he thinks
is funny, Moore leaves out the facts, even facts he
acknowledged when he spoke with Phil Knight." On Wednesday,
Nike Senior Manager/Communications Vada Manager
"acknowledged" that Nike "did want the film changed," and
asked Moore "to add that Nike has voluntarily instituted a
minimum working age of 16" at its Asian factories. Manager
said that Moore "offered to change the film" if Nike would
build the Flint factory, and added that the director's
unwillingness to add the requested information "speaks to
the intellectual dishonesty of the film" (OREGONIAN, 3/26).
GLOBAL NOTES: ESPN will examine labor practices in the
sneaker industry in an "Outside The Lines" special titled
"Made In Vietnam: The American Sneaker Controversy" airing
April 2 at 7:30pm ET. The show will include a report on
manufacturing policies of U.S. sneaker companies, and a look
inside Nike and Reebok factories in Saigon (ESPN)....The
global workplace standards of multinational corporations,
including Nike and Reebok, are examined by Philip Rozenzweig
in today's FINANCIAL TIMES. Rosenzweig: "Instead of
reducing the debate to 'good' versus 'bad,' it is more
useful to examine how some leading multinationals address
this important issue" (FINANCIAL TIMES, 3/27).