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CNBC Host ‘Outs’ Apple CEO Tim Cook as Gay...Things Get Awkwardly Quiet

Oh dear. 

Things got really awkward during CNBC's Squawk On The Street when one of the show's co-hosts accidentally outed Apple CEO Tim Cook as gay. Cook's alleged sexual orientation has been discussed by many media outlets, but he's yet to publicly acknowledge it. 

Watch:

From Mediaite:

New York Times columnist James R. Stewart joined the panel to discuss his latest piece profiling John Browne, the former CEO of BP, and his “tortured life” living as the gay chief executive of a Fortune 500 company. “You’d think CEOs especially are measured by objective criteria, financial performance,” Stewart said, and yet there’s a corporate culture that prevents powerful gay men from going public.

“There are gay CEOs in major companies, and I reached out to many of them,” he informed the hosts. “I got an extremely cool reception, not one would allow to be named at all.”

Enter co-host Simon Hobbs: “I think Tim Cook is fairly open about the fact he’s gay at the head of Apple, isn’t he?”

Silence from the panel. Everyone turned to look at Stewart, who responded, “Hmm, no.”

“Oh, dear, was that an error?” Hobbs asked. “I thought he was open about it.”

After shaking his head in disappointment with Hobbs, Stewart said: “I don’t want to comment about anybody who might or might not be. I’m not going to out anybody.”

Despite long-standing assertions that Cook is gay, the CEO has neither publicly confirmed nor denied the fact.

If anything, this just reinforces why it's important for individuals to be open. Many will argue that "it's not a big deal" or "it's not news" that someone's gay, but it continues to be a big deal when one's sexuality is treated as a taboo topic that can't be mentioned. 

The silence here was deafening.

 

(H/T: Mediaite)

Comments

Whether Tim Cook is "out" or not...no one has the right throw that statement out there.  Show some respect for people's privacy.  Geez.

John Browne has written a book called "The Glass Closet: Why Coming Out is Good Business."  I don't get it.  What's all the awkward silence about?  Doesn't something confirmed in black-and-white carry more weight than this CEO verbally acknowledging it here and there?  The book came out on June 17th, so hopefully this interview was after that fact.

Because it is NOT your or anyone else job to tell someone that another person is gay or not. If a gay person wants everyone to know then THEY will tell the people they want to know. Lets say for the sake of argument that Tim cook has not made his private life public, and now this person has said he's gay. No matter what Mr. cook says will convince anyone else that he is not gay. If he is not, and comes out, and says he is not gay then people will think he is liying, and then no one will trust him. Even if someone has shouted it from the roof top that they are gay. It is NOT your place to tell others. When I came out I only told my absolute trusted of friends.

A book is a statement an opinion not a mandate.  Who is anyone to instruct anyone else on how to conduct their life and since when is it ok to throw around someone's name as though their rights as an individual do not apply. Quit putting you values on others. Let him speak for himself...when he chooses to. You don't know him like that to speak for him or his life.

Tim cook has already spoken publicly about being a gay man... duh!

A person is hired for his experience and expertise to fulfill the job description for the benefit of the company.  His personal life has nothing to do with the hiring process and everyone's life experiences, the environment in which they were raised, personal beliefs and their sense of self determines how they wish to deal with this issue...not any of us or the media.  I found it extremely unprofessional of the journalist to blurt out something that he himself does not know for certain to be true or verified as the other journalist on the panel pointed out.

Investîgate that we, those identifying as GLBTQ silently or publicly, are fired w/o recourse for suspicion of being gay.   We own our identification and society thinks they own it.     That's why it is still a matter of human rights.      Fire this reporter!

Mark, that is not fair.  As it turns out, Tim Cook has talked opening about his sexuality... publicly. As a gay man, if I made it a point to come out, and someone references me in a positive light, why would we fire him?  The awkwardness started when Jim Stewart shut down....  He made it into the non issue it was.  So before we start judging people based on a snip it of an interview, how about we gather all the facts first?

"If anything, this just reinforces why it's important for individuals to be open." 

Um, why is that? So nobody feels "uncomfortable" for putting their foot in their mouths? Whether or not someone wants to confirm their heterosexuality or homosexuality, or talk about their lifestyle in anyway is a PERSONAL CHOICE.  No one--hetero, homo, or otherwise, owes it to anyone to confirm this. 

Jim, why do you have to fall off every word uttered out of your mouth?  Flaming!

Idiot! If a person wants to be outed as Gay, he will do it himself in his terms.

There is also an argument, quite valid, that an officer of a public company has a duty to stockholders to do NOTHING that might call attention to himself to some customers or suppliers who would judge him unfavorably, and thus possibly hurt the business.

Tim does not hide, but he does not speak of it.  Maybe we can move to thinking of being Gay as just another fact of life -- no one makes a big deal that a CEO is getting a divorce, unless the mate is suing to for control of the company.

I wish everyone could be out -- but, in Tim's case, everybody at Apple knows him, so he is certainly not hiding.

"There is also an argument, quite valid, that an officer of a public company has a duty to stockholders to do NOTHING that might call attention to himself to some customers or suppliers who would judge him unfavorably, and thus possibly hurt the business."

Really? That's another way of stating an officer should do nothing at all.  Someone, somewhere is going to be offended by some choice.  It's not possible to live this way, nor should it be a goal to do so.  In other words, you can't please everyone. 

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