Jon Stewart's show on Apple TV+ was reportedly canceled after a disagreement over coverage of AI and China

Jon Stewart holds a microphone
(Image credit: Getty Images, Monica Schipper)

As initially reported by The New York Times and confirmed by The Hollywood Reporter, Jon Stewart's Apple TV+ series The Problem with Jon Stewart was canceled just weeks before filming of the third season was scheduled to start. According to one of the NYT's sources, "Mr. Stewart told members of his staff on Thursday that potential show topics related to China and artificial intelligence were causing concern among Apple executives". According to THR's sources, executives told Stewart he had to be "aligned" with them regarding the show's topics, and that led to him deciding to leave.

Apple is reportedly working on its own AI large-language model, and has banned its employees from using other AI tools, such as ChatGPT. AI tools are also used by the iPhone's photography and search software. As for China, a lot of Apple's production happens there and the company has invested heavily in the country's infrastructure. Apparently enough that Apple doesn't like to see the Chinese government criticized, at least not on its own streaming service.

Jon Stewart made his name as the host of The Daily Show from 1999 to 2015, turning the comedy chat show into a noteworthy source of political commentary. You might expect Apple would have known what kind of critiques to expect when they hired Stewart, but apparently you would be wrong. Maybe they just figured he would have chilled out in the years between.

As a company, Apple is well-known for keeping a tight rein on its image, even to the point of restricting filmmakers from having villains use iPhones on camera, as Rian Johnson revealed to Vanity Fair

Jody Macgregor
Weekend/AU Editor

Jody's first computer was a Commodore 64, so he remembers having to use a code wheel to play Pool of Radiance. A former music journalist who interviewed everyone from Giorgio Moroder to Trent Reznor, Jody also co-hosted Australia's first radio show about videogames, Zed Games. He's written for Rock Paper Shotgun, The Big Issue, GamesRadar, Zam, Glixel, Five Out of Ten Magazine, and, whose cheques with the bunny logo made for fun conversations at the bank. Jody's first article for PC Gamer was about the audio of Alien Isolation, published in 2015, and since then he's written about why Silent Hill belongs on PC, why Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale is the best fantasy shopkeeper tycoon game, and how weird Lost Ark can get. Jody edited PC Gamer Indie from 2017 to 2018, and he eventually lived up to his promise to play every Warhammer videogame.