MOORE BEGINS HIS "BIG ONE" PR BLITZ; ESPN ON FOREIGN LABOR
Filmmaker Michael Moore was a guest on the "Late Show"
with David Letterman. Wearing a Red Wings cap, Moore
discussed Nike's reaction to his film, "The Big One."
Moore: "They've been threatening and they're upset."
Letterman: "And you ask [Nike Chair Phil Knight] to open a
Nike plant in Flint, your hometown, to help the economy
there, and if he did that would you then take some stuff out
of the interview?" Moore: "No, I still wouldn't do it."
But Moore said that if Knight decides to build a factory in
Flint before the film's opening on April 10, "Miramax has
offered to go in and actually put a little epilogue in at
the end of the film, showing Phil with a golden shovel."
Letterman: "I believe that the reason people ... take the
labor to other countries is that it's less expensive. But I
just heard on the radio that a new pair of Air Jordans is a
$150 a pair. So how much more expensive could they possibly
be?" Moore: "Well, they're paying these kids over there
$.40 an hour to work on assembly lines, teenage girls. And
there's shoe companies here, like Hush Puppies and New
Balance, that make their shoes in this country. Maybe they
don't make as much of a profit, but they still make a profit
and they employ people" ("Late Show," CBS, 3/30).
OUTSIDE THE LINES: Most of ESPN's "Outside the Lines"
on Thursday examines labor conditions at Nike's and Reebok's
subcontracted factories in Vietnam, according to Richard
Sandomir of the N.Y. TIMES. Nike escorted ESPN's crew at
its plant, while Reebok "allowed free access." Host Bob Ley
said that adidas would not cooperate. Ley: "[W]e'll raise
questions about whether the conditions are safe and whether
the workers are getting paid what they were promised to be
paid. There are serious questions about the environmental
safety of some of the workers." At Nike's plant, Ley saw
two incidents of physical contact between supervisors and
workers, "which was surprising given that they knew we'd be
there" (Richard Sandomir, N.Y. TIMES, 3/31).