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Apple TV+ scrapped show based on Gawker after Tim Cook heard about it

Credit: Apple

Last updated

Apple reportedly killed an Apple TV+ series chronicling the rise of Gawker Media after CEO Tim Cook personally intervened, according to a new report.

Earlier in 2020, the Apple streaming platform was said to be working with former Gawker staff on a dramedy series about the subversive blog network. Since then, no word has surfaced on the project.

On Sunday, however, The New York Times reported that Apple TV+ scrapped the show after Cook discovered its development and sent an email in response. Sources told the publication that Cook was "surprised" to learn Apple was making a show about Gawker, and reportedly "expressed a distinctly negative view" toward the now-shuttered media company.

Gawker Media had caused problems for Apple several times during its run, including when its tech site, Gizmodo, obtained an iPhone 4 prototype. That situation led to then-CEO Steve Jobs pleading to get it back, and a police raid on a Gawker editor's house.

The media organization also ran stories that publicly outed Cook as gay, six years before the Apple chief executive came out in a public essay on equality published in 2014.

Now the show, which was dubbed "Scraper" and pitched to Apple TV+ by Gawker veterans Cord Jefferson and Max Read, is back on the market and another streaming platforms may pick it up. The New York Times reports that the Apple executive who brought the show in, Layne Eskridge, has left the company.

Among streaming platforms and studios, Apple TV+ has been among the most clear about its "corporate red lines."

Apple's Services chief Eddy Cue has reportedly told partners that "the two things we will never do are hard-core nudity and China." Cue also told Apple TV+ creators to "avoid portraying China in a poor light," according to BuzzFeed News

Back in 2018, The Wall Street Journal reported that Cook had also scrapped a Dr. Dre biopic because it had too much violence and nudity. Apple has also instructed M. Night Shyamalan to keep crucifixes off the walls of "Servant."