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CNBC Panelist Accidentally Outs Apple CEO Tim Cook, Inspires Awkward Silence: VIDEO

Hobbs

During CNBC's Squawk on the Street segment on Friday about the lack of openly gay CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, co-anchor Simon Hobbs asked the group:

“I think Tim Cook is fairly open about the fact he's gay at the head of Apple, isn't he?”

Cook, though he has spoken out about ending anti-LGBT discrimination, has not spoken publicly about his own sexual orientation, and the subsequent silence of the panel made that clear with a sharp, extremely awkward silence.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Comments

  1. I don't think it counts as outing him if we all know already.

    Posted by: TONEZ | Jun 27, 2014 2:13:00 PM


  2. Still think it's a personal decision that is yours and yours alone to decide.

    Posted by: MP | Jun 27, 2014 2:16:30 PM


  3. How do you out somebody who's already out? Tim Cook doesn't make a point of being "politically" gay. It's simply not his focus, but to imply that he's closeted and has been outed by someone in the know seems a couple of decades behind the times. There's a difference between what Mike Signorile used to call "the glass closet," e.g. Tim Cook or Jodi Foster, and actually denying you're gay even though people know you are, like Matt Drudge or John Travolta.

    Posted by: FriendOfTheBear | Jun 27, 2014 2:18:40 PM


  4. so? the silence and acting like it's some taboo secret is more offensive.

    Posted by: Truthiness | Jun 27, 2014 2:19:04 PM


  5. Cook is doing harm by not being out - all those struggling gay teens who could look up to him have one less person to emulate.

    Posted by: Sergio | Jun 27, 2014 2:24:07 PM


  6. I remember Simon hosting Closing Bell on CNBC Europe. He is smarter and faster as an anchor and journalist than they allow him to be on CNBC US. He should get his own hour to host.

    Posted by: Matt27 | Jun 27, 2014 2:37:23 PM


  7. What an idiot. Cook obviously isn't "out" if someone asked the question about no "openly" gay CEO.

    And no, it is not Cook's responsibility to be a role model to anyone. If he wants to be a role model, then good, but he has no responsibility to be one. His only responsibility is to his friends, family, and company and to be an upright citizen.

    Posted by: Perry | Jun 27, 2014 2:39:07 PM


  8. Cook was named the most influential gay man in the US by Out magazine in 2011. His level of "outness" might be up for debate, but it's in no way a secret that he's gay. The silence might reflect the panel's ignorance, but it's not accurate to say that Cook was "outed" by Hobbs.

    Posted by: Andrew | Jun 27, 2014 2:40:25 PM


  9. "There's a difference between what Mike Signorile used to call "the glass closet," e.g. Tim Cook or Jodi Foster, and actually denying you're gay even though people know you are, like Matt Drudge or John Travolta."

    Has Cook ever been asked directly by a reporter whether he is gay or not? It seems that every time he has been asked about his social life, in general, he replies with something along the lines of "I don't discuss my personal life", which, yes, in 2014 amounts to denying that you are gay.

    All the more so since he lives in the San Francisco Bay area and works in an industry that bends over backwards to be politically correct about everything it does.

    I am not sure what he is afraid of, therefore--but if I had to guess, he probably has family back in Alabama who he thinks would be hurt if he announced that he is gay....and may just be sparing them that discomfort, as so many gay people have done over the years....

    Posted by: Rixk | Jun 27, 2014 2:41:48 PM


  10. A public figure that has never acknowledged the fact they are gay and refuses to talk about it is closeted. It doesn't matter if close friends and family know.

    Posted by: Brian W. | Jun 27, 2014 2:43:22 PM


  11. in cases like this i merely tip my hat to the brave men and women who stop giving such pathetic excuses to remain closeted. in north america. in 2014. and choose instead to stand up to be counted, and open the doors for others.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Jun 27, 2014 2:45:07 PM


  12. @Sergio : it's possible, and plausible, that when Tim Cook talks to the press, he wants to talk about Apple, not his personal life.

    Posted by: Bill | Jun 27, 2014 2:45:10 PM


  13. Tim Cook is a GREAT role model. He's a hard worker, and remains forever focused on his passion for Apple, which is why he's in charge of the company. His personal life, husband, wife, kids, etc. mean nothing to me. I don't know him personally. I use his products, and what *I* care about is what their future plans are for the products I buy. The rest of it, frankly, is not anyone's business.

    Posted by: Hrm | Jun 27, 2014 2:49:52 PM


  14. Tim Cook is a GREAT role model. He's a hard worker, and remains forever focused on his passion for Apple, which is why he's in charge of the company. His personal life, husband, wife, kids, etc. mean nothing to me. I don't know him personally. I use his products, and what *I* care about is what their future plans are for the products I buy. The rest of it, frankly, is not anyone's business.

    Posted by: Hrm | Jun 27, 2014 2:49:53 PM


  15. I LOVE awkward moments like this. I live for them.

    Posted by: SDAndy | Jun 27, 2014 2:51:24 PM


  16. When I read Stewart's article in the NYT today, my first reaction to his statement that there are no out CEO's was, "What about Tim Cook?"

    I would call Cook's status an open secret. Even though he may not discuss it, back in 2012, he was named "the most influential gay man in America" by Out.

    (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/27/out-power-50-most-powerful-gay-people_n_1458934.html)

    Posted by: gr8guyca | Jun 27, 2014 2:53:28 PM


  17. Him not talking about it doesn't mean it stops being true. That he's gay is common knowledge. It's not up to reporters to pretend he's not. Just because some housewife in Alabama doesn't know a public figure is gay doesn't mean they're in the closet, nor do they have to hold a press conference to the world announcing how gay they are. They just are. It's not up journalists to try and decide who's non secrets they're supposed to keep.

    You want to be closeted? Then be in the closet. But don't be out and about when you feel luck it and expect strangers to keep your secrets. Especially if your the CEO of one of the worlds largest companies.

    Posted by: Michaelandfred | Jun 27, 2014 2:56:15 PM


  18. I thought Tim Cook came out already...

    Posted by: ACe | Jun 27, 2014 2:58:19 PM


  19. "it's possible, and plausible, that when Tim Cook talks to the press, he wants to talk about Apple, not his personal life"

    He may, but the personal lives of CEOs are inevitably scrutinized--where else would the rumor that he is gay have come from in the first place?

    The CEO of GM did not flinch when Matt Lauer asked her whether she could be a CEO and a good mother at the same time....and that is about as personal as it gets.....so if Tim Cook avoids any and all questions about his personal life, it can only be because he is trying to hide something.....which either means he is ashamed of it or is uncomfortable talking about it for some other reason.

    Posted by: Rixk | Jun 27, 2014 2:58:25 PM


  20. The "awkward silence" probably not due to embarrassment. More out of fear since it is something actionable to spread rumor without proof.

    Posted by: simon | Jun 27, 2014 2:59:46 PM


  21. Maybe they're waiting for Cook to announce it at CES.

    (long pause) ...Soooo how about that iPhone 6, huh?

    Posted by: Hansel Currywurst | Jun 27, 2014 3:01:26 PM


  22. Here, let me google that for you...
    http://valleywag.gawker.com/tim-cook-speaks-about-his-own-discrimination-as-a-gay-m-1484918694

    This is a non-story. No "outing" has occurred.

    Posted by: Marcus | Jun 27, 2014 3:12:03 PM


  23. You can't "out" someone that the entire world knows is gay and the entire world has been talking about being gay for how long now? A year? Two? That's ridiculous.

    This is 2014. Tim Cook is gay. Acting as if it's evil to say that Tim Cook is gay is homophobic bigotry at its absolute worst, no matter who it's coming from.

    It's just worse when it comes from someone gay.

    Posted by: oncemorewithfeeling | Jun 27, 2014 3:20:48 PM


  24. Silence=Death.

    There being NOT A SINGLE out CEO speaks volumes to gays and straights alike.

    If you're in the closet at work or whatever, and benefiting from the progress of the LGBT movement in your life, you're a FREE RIDER at best. Nothing to be proud of. Nothing to defend.

    Posted by: StranglerFig | Jun 27, 2014 3:29:56 PM


  25. Rixk: That was not only talking about her personal life, was directly sexist. I never heard that kind of question to a male CEO who is a father.

    Tim Cook is gay and everybody knows it, he probably doesn't want to talk about his life, but he never denied

    Posted by: jjose712 | Jun 27, 2014 3:37:37 PM


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