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Daisey, who performs his monologues seated at a desk and using notes, has previously tackled everything from dysfunctional dot-coms to the international financial crisis. A movie has been made of his monologue “If You See Something Say Something,” and in a weird twist, he did a 2006 show called “Truth” about how art and fact mix. In it, Daisey admitted he once fabricated a story because it “connected” with the audience.

Daisey told Glass he felt conflicted about presenting things that he knew weren’t true. But he said he felt “trapped” and was afraid people would no longer care about the abuses at the factories if he didn’t present things in a dramatic way.

In an interview with the AP last year when his show was first in New York, Daisey’s passion for humane treatment of Chinese workers was evident. “Artists are people who are called to action,” he said. “If they’re not active then they’re probably asleep.”

An Apple spokeswoman declined again Saturday to comment on the revelations about the monologue. The company has been rebutting Daisey’s allegations for months, to little effect.

Before he scrubbed the monologue, Daisey described traveling to the Chinese industrial zone of Shenzhen and interviewing hundreds of workers from Foxconn Technology Group, the world’s largest electronics contract manufacturer. Daisey said he stood outside the gate with a translator and met workers as young as 12 and some whose joints were damaged because they performed the same action thousands of times a shift.

“I talk to people whose joints in their hands have disintegrated from working on the line, doing the same motion hundreds and hundreds of thousands of times. It’s like carpal tunnel on a scale we can scarcely imagine,” he says, according to a transcript of the show. Later in the monologue, he said he met workers poisoned by the chemical hexane, used to clear iPhone screens.

But “This American Life” reported Daisey’s Chinese interpreter disputed many of the artist’s claims when contacted by Rob Schmitz, a China correspondent for the public radio show “Marketplace.” Among them, the translator said guards outside the factory weren’t armed, Daisey never met workers from a secret union and he never visited factory dorm rooms.

Daisey told Glass he didn’t meet any poisoned workers and guessed at the ages of some he met. He also said some details he used were things he read about happening elsewhere.

“I’m not going to say that I didn’t take a few shortcuts in my passion to be heard,” he told Glass. “But I stand behind the work. My mistake, the mistake that I truly regret is that I had it on your show as journalism, and it’s not journalism. It’s theater.”

In the edited monologue, Eustis said Daisey acknowledges “that his translator, Cathy, does not remember things which he does remember.”

Apple’s popularity among consumers and investors alike has only grown while Daisey has been railing against the company. Since Daisey’s one-man show hit the stage in the summer of 2010, Apple has sold more than 74 million iPhones, more than 35 million iPads and more than 29 million iPods.

Propelled by the surging sales of Apple’s devices, the company stock price has climbed nearly 70 percent to create an additional $220 billion in shareholder wealth. Apple now reigns as the world’s richest company, with nearly $100 billion in cash and a market value of $546 billion.

Daisey’s embellishments threaten to set back the efforts to improve the working conditions in China and other countries where many trendy gadgets are made, said veteran technology analyst Rob Enderle.

He fears Daisey’s tainted credibility will embolden more U.S. companies to turn a blind eye to how the assembly-line workers are being treated in the overseas factories run by their contractors. “It will make it more difficult to correct these labor injustices in China,” Enderle said. “Daisey tried to make this out to be an Apple problem, but it really wasn’t. It’s a China problem.”

Eustis hopes audiences will not let the controversy distract them for Daisey’s main points. “The subject matter of this piece — the way we allow working people who make our objects elsewhere in the world to be treated — is incredibly important, and it is vital that we not be distracted from that subject by this controversy.”

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