At an event in Washington D.C. last night, Tim Cook accepted the Free Expression Award at the First Amendment advocacy Newseum.
The award was designed to celebrate the fact that Cook has taken a public stand on issues such as racial equality, climate change, privacy, LGBT rights, and more.
Cook was introduced by Fred Ryan, CEO and publisher of the Washington Post, to which Cook has previously given a rare in-depth revealing interview.
“I’m very grateful for the award,and accept it tonight on behalf of everyone at Apple,” Cook said. He went on to discuss Apple’s responsibility in enabling people to speak out about important issues.
He also echoed one of his regular mantras: the notion that, “companies can — and should — have values.”
“We know that these freedoms require protection,” Cook said, speaking about First Amendment rights. “Not just the forms of speech that entertain us, but the ones that challenge us. The ones that unnerve and even displease us. They’re the ones that need protection the most. It’s no accident that these freedoms are enshrined and protected in the First Amendment. They are the foundation to so many of our rights.”
Other notable winners this year included U.S. Rep. John Lewis, who was given a Lifetime Achievement Award, and Playboy founder Hugh Hefner, who took home an Arts and Entertainment Award shared with Hatch Beauty chairman Christie Hefner.
A force for good in the world
Unlike Steve Jobs, who was not especially political during his career, Tim Cook has spoken out repeatedly about various issues.
Back in 2013, he stated his view that Apple should be a, “force for good in the world beyond our products” and claimed that, “Whether it’s improving working conditions or the environment, standing up for human rights, helping eliminate AIDS, or reinventing education, Apple is making substantial contributions to society.”
Cook hammered home this message when, in one of the few times he’s appeared anything other than cool and laid-back in public, he told profit-obsessed investors that “return on investment” goes far beyond making money at Apple.
Recently Apple has clashed with the U.S. government on two major issues: one the question of privacy, leading to a tense faceoff with the FBI over creating an iPhone backdoor; and more recently with President Donald Trump about his “travel ban” executive orders.
Source: Apple Insider.