‘White tech dude says woman should smile’: Apple accused of sexism in Keynote presentation

Eric Snowden, Director of Design for Adobe/Behance, displays Adobe software for the new iPad Pro during an Apple media event in San Francisco, California, September 9, 2015. © Beck Diefenbach
While the Apple Day Keynote was meant to be an unveiling of the company’s new devices and features, many women on the internet were up in arms over the lack of female presenters and an iPad Photoshop demonstration that "forced" a woman to smile.

During the presentation, Apple showed off Photoshop’s capabilities on new iPad Pro tablet by making the static face of a female model appear to smile. Many internet users took offence at the notion that a smiling woman’s face was more attractive than a neutral one, saying that the company, which has been accused of sexism in the past, went too far. 

The fact that only three real women appeared at the keynote only reinforced the idea that Apple has a problem with sexism.

Adobe’s Eric Snowden conducted the Photoshop demonstration, and the fact that he was white only made matters worse for some.

Mashable’s Andrea Romano also criticized the presentation’s use of the female model, accusing Apple of having “a problem with her neutral face.” Romano went as far as to imply that the presenter could be subconsciously legitimizing the harassment of women through his careless use of Photoshop. 

“Even though he may have made the change innocuously, it points to a recurring problem of women being harassed for not smiling on the street or being labeled as ‘bitchy’ in their jobs or personal lives,” she wrote.

A few Twitter users even went so far as to say that Apple was “forcing” a woman to smile with Photoshop.

Others took the brew-ha-ha as a sign that some people on the internet are just looking for more and more ludicrous things to become offended by these days.

The calls for inclusion at Apple haven’t fallen on deaf ears, however. The company even has a web page that documents its moves towards more diversity.

“We believe in equality for everyone, regardless of race, age, gender, gender identity, ethnicity, religion, or sexual orientation,” CEO Tim Cook wrote on the site. “That applies throughout our company, around the world with no exceptions.”