"They literally said 'please don't talk to her'" — Jon Stewart says Apple denied guest appearance from FTC amidst swirling antitrust woes

Jon Stewart and lina Kahn
(Image credit: The Daily Show)

As Apple faces huge antitrust concerns, Jon Stewart has revealed he was told not to speak to the Federal Trade Commission for the podcast segment of his Apple TV Plus show. 

The Problem with Jon Stewart was Stewart’s comedy/politics show on Apple’s TV service and was one of the best shows on Apple TV Plus. It was canceled back in October last year and, since then, he has revealed Apple executives wanted him to avoid “saying things that might get him in trouble.”

This week on The Daily Show, a late-night politics talk show, Jon Stewart talked with Lina Khan, the chairperson of the FTC. Though his chat focused on the FTC’s suit against Amazon, Stewart told Khan “I wanted to have you on the podcast and Apple asked us not to do it.” He further elaborated “They literally said 'please don’t talk to her'.”

Apple is currently facing a lawsuit from the Justice Department, alleging the company is guilty of “monopolizing smartphone markets.” Given that Apple is currently facing antitrust concerns, and Khan says in her interview with Stewart that the FTC enforces the “nation’s antitrust and consumer protection laws”, this perceived “sensitivity” is something Stewart takes note of. Stewart goes on to say, “why are they so afraid to even have these conversations out in the public sphere?”

Khan’s response

Khan states that Apple's unwillingness to allow that conversation on its platform “shows one of the dangers of what happens when you concentrate so much power and so much decision-making in a small number of companies.” As of right now, the FTC is not involved in a suit with Apple.

Stewart claims the split between him and Apple involved him wanting to explore topics like China and AI. Artificial intelligence is said to be a big part of WWDC 2024, and Stewart's show might have looked negatively on AI -- if this week’s show is anything to go by.

More from iMore

James Bentley

James is a staff writer and general Jack of all trades at iMore. With news, features, reviews, and guides under his belt, he has always liked Apple for its unique branding and distinctive style. Originally buying a Macbook for music and video production, he has since gone on to join the Apple ecosystem with as many devices as he can fit on his person. 

With a degree in Law and Media and being a little too young to move onto the next step of his law career, James started writing from his bedroom about games, movies, tech, and anything else he could think of. Within months, this turned into a fully-fledged career as a freelance journalist. Before joining iMore, he was a staff writer at Gfinity and saw himself published at sites like TechRadar, NME, and Eurogamer. 

As his extensive portfolio implies, James was predominantly a games journalist before joining iMore and brings with him a unique perspective on Apple itself. When not working, he is trying to catch up with the movies and albums of the year, as well as finally finishing the Yakuza series. If you like Midwest emo music or pretentious indie games that will make you cry, he’ll talk your ear off.