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Snippet: Jon Stewart’s ‘The Problem’ Not Moving Forward at Apple Amid Creative Differences ☇

Shared on October 20, 2023

Lesley Goldberg for The Hollywood Reporter:

According to the New York Times, which first reported the news, the cancellation came after creative differences between the iPhone maker and Stewart over potential topics and guests for The Problem. The NYT reported that Stewart informed his staff Thursday that Apple pushed back on topics relating to China and artificial intelligence. Production on season three was already under way, with filming poised to begin shortly.

Sources tell THR that there had been tension between Apple and Stewart ahead of the show’s third season return over topics featured on The Problem. Those same sources note that Apple approached Stewart and informed the host that both sides needed to be “aligned” regarding topics on the show. Stewart, sources say, balked at the idea of being “hamstrung” by Apple, which threatened to cancel the series. Stewart, sources say, wanted to have full creative control of the series and, after Apple threatened to cancel the series, told the tech company that he was walking away from the show rather than have his hands tied.

While I enjoyed The Problem, it didn’t quite have the comedic punch of Jon Stewart-era Daily Show or John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight. If the statements are true, that seems really short-sighted by Apple—I’d guess that a smaller amount of people watch the show than will read how Apple appears to be kowtowing to China. It’s also a stark contrast to how Time Warner, AT&T, and now Warner Bros. Discovery have handled any kind of criticism and jokes by John Oliver.

Apple, when AT&T seems to have a thicker skin than you, you probably need to re-evaluate some things.

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