With his soothing British accent, love of flowery design terms, and immediately recognizable pronunciation of “aluminium,” few people in tech are as widely parodied as Jony Ive.
Impressions of Ive have become a tech industry trope in their own right, but last week an Ive-centric joke debuted online, which Apple’s design guru apparently found so offensive that he had Apple’s legal team contact the creators to take it down.
The offending parody — supposedly intended as “good-natured teasing” — was a soundboard allowing people to string together various Ive adjectives, nouns, verbs and prepositions in nonsensical sentences to be spoken by a Jony Ive puppet.
Called JonyJive, the slightly surreal concept went viral, at which point creators Amy Hoy and Thomas Fuchs say they were on the receiving end of a phone call from Apple’s legal team asking them to remove it because it had “personally offended Ive.”
Hoy says Apple’s “legal call was not a threat. It was a request.” It’s certainly something of a rarity, however — particularly since the creators are themselves self-admitted Jony Ive fans. Their website now features the following disclaimer:
“This site was meant as good-natured teasing. We are (big) fans of Jony Ive’s work. We have an original iPod on a shelf in the office, so we’re reminded about great design every day. We didn’t intend to be mean or hurt feelings.”
There goes the invite to next year’s iPhone keynote, we guess!