Homophobes are a market Apple is willing to forego.
Are there people who won’t buy Apple’s AAPL products — or invest in its stock — because Tim Cook attended San Francisco’s Pride Parade Sunday, posed for a selfie, and tweeted about it to his 534,811 followers?
I’m sure there are. Not every culture is as evolved as the Bay Area in the summer of 2014.
Homosexuality is still taboo in much of the world. It’s illegal in at least 77 countries — from Algeria to Zimbabwe — and punishable by death in six: Saudi Arabia, Iran, Mauritania, northern Nigeria, Sudan, and Yemen.
Nobody at a shareholder meeting has asked Cook what it cost the company to openly support gay, lesbian and transgender rights. But I can imagine what his response might be.
In April, a climate change denier took the mic to rail against the company’s sustainability efforts and ask Cook to commit right then and there to doing only those things that were profitable.
Here’s an eye-witness account from Mac Observer‘s Brian Chaffin:
“What ensued was the only time I can recall seeing Tim Cook angry, and he categorically rejected the worldview behind the [National Center for Public Policy Research]’s advocacy. He said that there are many things Apple does because they are right and just, and that a return on investment (ROI) was not the primary consideration on such issues.
“‘When we work on making our devices accessible by the blind,’ he said, ‘I don’t consider the bloody ROI.’ He said that the same thing about environmental issues, worker safety, and other areas where Apple is a leader.
“As evidenced by the use of ‘bloody’ in his response — the closest thing to public profanity I’ve ever seen from Mr. Cook — it was clear that he was quite angry. His body language changed, his face contracted, and he spoke in rapid fire sentences compared to the usual metered and controlled way he speaks.
“He didn’t stop there, however, as he looked directly at the NCPPR representative and said, ‘If you want me to do things only for ROI reasons, you should get out of this stock.'” (See Tim Cook picks a fight.)
Cook’s Pride Parade tweet: