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Apple Reportedly Cancels John Stewart Show Over His Content Critical of AI and China

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Apple TV Plus’ esteemed talk show, “The Problem with Jon Stewart,” is reportedly drawing to a close, after a fallout between the tech giant Apple and Jon Stewart himself. Despite the show’s premiere being hailed as a major success for Apple TV Plus, the company and the renowned ex-Daily Show host have split due to “creative differences” ahead of the talk show’s highly anticipated third season.

The signs of a rift started to emerge as reports surfaced about Apple getting antsy over Stewart’s guest lineup on “The Problem with Jon Stewart.” However, the fulcrum of the controversy seems to revolve around Stewart’s plans to tackle issues such as artificial intelligence and China, which Apple reportedly flagged as contentious. The sudden faltering of the show, which was due to start shooting soon, caught the production team off guard.

Apple’s fears apparently stem from the fact that the tech behemoth has a future heavily pinned to maintaining a congenial relationship with China and the tech giant bends overback backwards to stay on the good side of the Chinese Communist Party.

When it comes to censorship of content in particular, Apple is happy to oblige the Chinese government in order to compete in the Chinese market.

This latest incident can be seen as an instance of corporate arm-twisting to possibly cloak any criticism or controversial discourse that might jeopardize its strategy. Reports from The Hollywood Reporter suggest that Apple wanted the show to echo its official stance on these topics, therefore asserting the power of censorship over the freedom to openly discuss the aforementioned issues.

Stewart didn’t bow down to Apple’s suppressive demands. He chose to assert his commitment to open discourse and freedom of speech by walking away from the show rather than compromising on the content.

The Times report does not delve into specifics about why the show’s planned coverage of artificial intelligence and China triggered such strong reactions in Apple’s executive echelons. However, it does underline the inherent conflict between corporate interests and the freedom of speech. It’s not surprising that a tech giant like Apple would rather trim its content than jeopardize its relationship with a key market player like China, indicating a shift in power dynamics from content creators to corporate movers and shakers.

At the time of writing, Apple has yet to give a reason for the cancelation.

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