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Jon Stewart opens up about Apple interference in his show

Jon Stewart on "The Daily Show" (Source: Comedy Central video)

After originally claims that his split with Apple TV+ was amicable, Jon Stewart has now revealed that the company blocked topics and even guests he wanted to cover on "The Problem with Jon Stewart."

Jon Stewart said very little when Apple TV+ cancelled "The Problem with Jon Stewart" in October 2023, and it wasn't until February 2024 that he mentioned anything. At that point, he said the show had been dropped in part because Apple "didn't want me to say things that might get me in trouble."

Now he has called out Apple for specifically blocking two elements that he had wanted to do on his series and on its companion podcast. He did so while interviewing FTC chair Lina Khan on The Daily Show on Comedy Central, in an episode that began with a skit about AI.

"I wanted to have you on a podcast and Apple asked us not to do it," he told her. "They literally said, 'Please don't talk to her.'"

"They wouldn't let us do even that dumb thing we just did in the first act on AI," he continued. "Like, what is that sensitivity? Why are they so afraid to even have these conversations out in the public sphere?"

His question came in an interview with Khan about the FTC and its role in combating anti-trust measures by large corporations working either alone or in concert. "I think it just shows the danger of what happens when you concentrate so much power and so much decision making in a small number of companies," she said.

At the time of cancellation, it had been rumored that AI and China were the topics that Apple had been concerned about. While Apple did not confirm, the rumors led to a led to a House of Representatives Select Committee on Competition with the Chinese Communist Party demanding Apple to justify the cancellation.

Five months on, it's still not clear whether Apple responded to the demand.