Warning: This post contains spoilers for the new "Steve Jobs" movie.
A pivotal scene toward the end of "Steve Jobs," the new film from Aaron Sorkin, involves a heated confrontation between Jobs and his fellow Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak.
Wozniak tells Tech Insider the scene "was made up for the movie."
The scene in question takes place before the launch of the iMac in 1998. Wozniak (played by Seth Rogen) wants Jobs (played by Michael Fassbender) to mention the team that built the Apple II during his iMac keynote address.
Apple employees and a lone journalist witness the tense exchange, which involves a lot of yelling.
But here's the thing, according to Wozniak: It never happened.
In an email to Tech Insider, Woz says he was "behind Jobs and the products at each introduction" and would "never even talk to a friend" the way Rogen talks to Fassbender during that part of the film.
Woz did say, however, that he would have liked to say many of the things the fictional Wozniak tells Jobs in the movie.
"The sentiment among many was like that portrayed by my character," Woz wrote to Tech Insider, "so their feelings were put into my mouth for the movie."
Woz said that specific scene, along with others in the movie, were based on a short phone call he had with John Sculley, who served as Apple's CEO from 1983 to 1993. Woz called Sculley on behalf of "a ton of managers and execs and engineers who were about ready to quit, since they were responsible for all of Apple’s profits at that time and got no mention at all (and worse) at a shareholders meeting."
Woz said he called Sculley on their behalf because "they didn't have as powerful a voice as I had." He said he thought Sculley told Jobs about their conversation.
Here's what Woz told Tech Insider when we asked specifically about that scene:
That scene was made up for the movie. I was behind Jobs and the products at each introduction. I would never even talk to a friend that way. But the sentiment among many was like that portrayed by my character, so their feelings were put into my mouth for the movie. I would have liked myself saying those things, except for the epithet. The comments about Apple II recognition had nothing to do with myself. I was a voice for all the employees of that division who were being ignored and disrespected, possibly to diminish a source of competition to Steve Jobs' Macintosh.
That scene, and others with me addressing Jobs, were based on a 30-second phone call I made to John Sculley, not on my own behalf but on that of a ton of managers and execs and engineers who were about ready to quit, since they were responsible for all of Apple's profits at that time and got no mention at all (and worse) at a shareholders meeting. They didn't have as powerful a voice as I had so I made that phone call on their behalf.
That said, Sorkin's "Steve Jobs" film is not a true historical representation of Jobs' life. It's considered an adaptation of Walter Isaacson's definitive Jobs biography from 2011, but the movie is only loosely based on true events. Woz was a paid consultant on the film.