Bono Slams Apple: 'They're Like a Religious Cult'

U2 frontman hoping to get close to an AIDS-free generation with his global nonprofit.

Ultimate Guitar

U2 frontman Bono took a decent jab at Apple at this week's Cannes Lions presentation, frowning upon the company's downplaying of its involvement with his global nonprofit organization (Red).

"The idea that we might get close to an AIDS-free generation, and then not get there, and for what? Because the heat isn't on the issue," Bono told festival attendees.

As Billboard reports, Bono only gave praises to the crowd of strangers, but spared criticism for an old friend - Apple design guru Jony Ive.

According to the singer, Apple always kept a low profile about its involvement with the cause, going back to Steve Jobs' refusal to put the nonprofit's signature parentheses on any Apple products or in any Apple stores.

"One of the reasons it's such a credit to have Jony Ive on the stage is because Apple is so f--king annoyingly quiet about the fact they've raised $75 million. Nobody knows!" Bono shouted.

The musician then pulled out an official (Red) iPad cover and demonstrated that the only actual nod to the nonprofit was inside the cover and therefore always obscured by the device.

"Where's the (Red) branding?" Bono asked Ive. "Nobody can see that. This is modesty run amok. This is the Apple way. They're like a religious cult."

52 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I'm sorry, but is this the same U2 that released a "U2 iPod" which was basically just a regular iPod Video with their discography already downloaded onto it? I thought so. There's a reason Randy Marsh had a tough time beating the world record.
    I was going to post about that too... but remember Bono did that RED project WAYYY after he did that commercial, which was 10 yrs ago.
    The Judist
    If Bono is serious about eliminating AIDS and poverty, why doesn't he slam central banks, the fiat monetary system and the Vatican?
    I think he tries to actively work with people rather than just "slam" them (hence all his meetings with world leaders). And of course, being the *******s we are, we tend to resent him for it.
    So he's complaining Apple isn't bragging about the money they've raised for his cause?
    My thoughts exactly. What I get out of this article is that the folks at Apple aren't self righteous priks who need attention for every good deed that they do.
    a good deed that requires people's involvement, and thus the attention is necessary for it to be effective. Bono isn't crying for attention to himself he's crying for attention to the cause and it's a noble one.
    Apple manages to, somehow, not pay almost any taxes...
    Somehow, about every multinational corporation excells in that. The secret of getting rich is back-stabbing, lying, cheating and not having a conscience whatsoever.
    They pay no taxes because they know how to work the flawed tax structure that is in place.
    exactly this. Amazon, easily one of the biggest companies on the net even gets a grant from the government here in the UK. For what exactly? They're probably raking in over a billion per year and paying only a couple of million in taxes, far less than what they should.
    Epi g-310
    Well, partly that, and partly that they and every other big corporation have the lobbying power to make sure that the tax structure stays flawed in their favor.
    And you do what? Try to pay as much as possible every year? We all do what we can to get the biggest refund possible, so why hate on them? Because they are better at it? Maybe if 40% of the country wasn't on government dependence we wouldn't need so much in tax revenue.
    It is a bit unfair though that if you have enough money you have enough power to get out of taxation, the general structure of it all. Kinda against taxation myself though so I'm more of the opinion it should be lessened for others rather than increased for the companies.
    well it's quite simple when you back the right politicians and corruption is rampant, not to mention tax loopholes and the overly complicated tax system in the US. This is insanely ironic given Apple's suburban liberal, upper-middle class, white-guilt driven consumers. Cronyism has ruined the free market.
    Apple makes wonderful products but it seems that place is run by @ssholes
    Don't think he's really "slamming" Apple. Seems like Apple is partnered with him in his non-profit initiative and he wants them to be a bit more vocal about their involvement, so that more money can be raised and the charity receive more recognition and publicity.
    Apple's already raised the most money of any single contributor for (Product) Red ($75m), and people are getting upset because they aren't gloating about it? Bono's a moron, and anyways, (Product) Red has already commented on this whole thing, basically saing "Guys, Bono was just kidding, lol. Thanks for the $75mil."
    It's not that he wants them to gloat, but that he wants them to make the general public more aware of Apple's contribution to the organization's cause. Which makes sense, because Apple products are wildly popular. I mean, it's always a big deal when Apple comes out with a new product. They have a history of changing the game. To attach the mission of (Red) in these peoples' minds might go a long way
    Bono is criticizing Apple? Talk about the kettle calling the pot black. (RED) actually doesn't do jack shit for cancer other than "raising awareness" that cancer is bad. Yes, Bono, we know cancer is bad, now shut the hell up and pay your taxes too. Oh, and Apple sucks dick too.
    Lol at people calling Bono a hypocrite in the comments. Read the article. It's maybe 200 words. All he is saying is he wish they'd be more vocal about their charity. God damn guys, it's not that hard to read. I think Bono is a great guy despite what most on here think of him. I went to one of the concerts on the 360 tour (which was awesome), and they had people there to talk to about the Red program and sign up/donate. If more millionaires put some effort into these causes the world would be a better place.
    Scott O
    Dammit,I need some 'news' about Metalica!
    "Metallica is just about ready to begin thinking about preparing to enter the studio in a few months from next year." There you go, now you know the inside scoop.
    why doesn't bono just stop using ipads/apple products altogether? if he's all gung-ho about humanity/sharing/baby-kissing/rainbows/etc.. why not support android? its based off an open-source linux kernel. why someone in his position would continue to use/promote such a shitty cult-like ecosystem like mac is beyond me.. just seems like he wants to have his cake and eat it too. also: i know that macOS' backend is linux, so spare me plz. bono is a hypocrite here, so either drink the apple kool aid, or abandon ship, its not rocket science. hes got money, he can figure it out.
    OS X is not Linux, It's Unix (or BSD specifically I think). They're similar in design since GNU/Linux was sort of a Unix clone but the different licenses would have made a difference if Apple had used the other.
    Seems Bozo should STFU and consider putting some of his own money into his baby. Seems anytime people start an organization, they don't want to contribute. "Hey guys, I start an organization. You pay for it though, thanks." Bozo is a koont.
    So having the Red logo on a product is what's going to cure aids? I think he should just be happy that a company that generates as much money as Apple has agreed to work with them. He seems angry about the fact that they have raised $75 million dollars for his cause. What a twat. Bono needs to get his head out of his ass.
    Curse charity if it isn't public! You got it right Bono, flaunt your kindness and absorb meaningless appreciation from the masses.
    Everyone on this site, and UG needs to take a step back, relax, take a deep breath, etc. His comments were taken out of context, they were explained, put to rest. There are many other news stories explaining that elsewhere. Besides, I wouldn't trust Apple news on UG: That's the explanation of the comment.