Jon Stewart Reveals Apple’s Agenda Behind Show Cancellation

Jon Stewart Reveals Apple’s Agenda Behind Show Cancellation

Jon Stewart has shed light on the real reasons behind the cancellation of his Apple TV+ show, “The Problem With Jon Stewart.” The show, which aired for two seasons, was part of a multi-year first-look deal with Apple. Initially, the first season aired episodes bi-weekly, while the second season adopted a weekly format. However, the show was abruptly canceled last October, and Stewart has now revealed the underlying reasons for this decision.

In a recent appearance on “The Town” podcast, Stewart clarified that his departure from Apple was not due to censorship or issues related to free speech. “When you work for a corporate entity, that’s part of the deal,” Stewart explained. “Even at Comedy Central, the deal is I get to do what I want until it’s going to hurt their beer sales or whatever it is they want to sell. And that’s the deal we all make.”

Stewart recounted a specific incident that highlighted the growing rift between him and Apple. During an episode of “The Problem,” Stewart had a conversation with economist Larry Summers about federal trade interests and corporate profits. Summers pointed out the irony of Stewart hosting a talk show for Apple, a corporation itself. Stewart admitted that all corporations, including Apple, are guilty of gouging customers.

“We played the interview for the audience, and they exploded like we just hit a three-pointer at the buzzer,” Stewart said. “The show ends, we go downstairs in full ‘Rudy’ mode. The Apple executives walk into the dressing room afterwards with a look on their face, and I was like, ‘Oh my God, did the factory explode, what happened?'”

The executives were concerned about the segment with Summers. “They asked, ‘Are you going to use that Summers thing?’ I was like, ‘The one where the crowd cheered?’ We went back and forth for a couple of weeks before the show aired about that particular moment. It was then that I realized, ‘Oh, our aims don’t align in any way.’ We’re trying to make the best, most insightful execution of the intention that we can make, but they’re protecting a different agenda. And that’s when I knew we were in trouble.”

Despite the disagreements, Stewart harbors no ill will towards Apple. “The ethos of when you work for a company, whether it’s Amazon or Apple or now these new conglomerates, it’s a different calculus,” he said. “Corporations are pussies. They are now, and they always have been. They’re not looking to cause problems.”

Stewart also revealed that Apple had concerns about the topics he wanted to cover, including artificial intelligence and China. He mentioned that Apple CEO Tim Cook was questioned by members of the US House of Representatives about whether Stewart’s departure was due to an upcoming episode about China. “While companies have the right to determine what content is appropriate for their streaming service, the coercive tactics of a foreign power should not be directly or indirectly influencing these determinations,” the leaders of the House of Representatives’ Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party wrote to Cook.

Stewart also shared an anecdote about how Apple didn’t want him to interview Federal Trade Commission chair Lina Khan on his podcast. “I wanted to have you on a podcast, and Apple asked us not to do it,” Stewart told Khan. “They literally said, ‘Please don’t talk to her.'”

Stewart’s candid revelations provide a deeper understanding of the creative differences that led to the cancellation of “The Problem With Jon Stewart.” He emphasized that while he was excited about exploring complex issues, Apple had different priorities. “I started having this idea in the back of my head about the difference between weather and climate when it came to the institutions and the media,” Stewart said. “The Daily Show had always been a little bit more about the weather. We were kind of every day in there, and the genesis of the problem was more about what if we looked at it more as climate systems? What causes the weather? How do these things arrive? And I felt invigorated again by it.”

However, Apple was not on the same page. “They were like, yes, yes, we are less, though. So, we had some disagreements about the direction of it, the tone of it, the subject matter, etc.”

Stewart’s experience underscores the challenges of working within corporate constraints, even for a seasoned host like him. Despite the setbacks, Stewart remains committed to his craft and continues to host new episodes of “The Daily Show” on Monday nights on Comedy Central.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top