Looks like Apple has a problem with Jon Stewart — talk show axed over stances on China and AI

The Problem with Jon Stewart key art
(Image credit: Apple)

The popular Apple TV Plus show, The Problem with Jon Stewart, has been axed by Apple due to “creative differences” surrounding potential show topics about China and artificial intelligence.

According to sources speaking with The New York Times, the Emmy-nominated show is coming to an abrupt end after “Mr. Stewart and Apple executives decided to part ways in recent days,”

Taping for the third season was due to begin within “a couple of weeks,” but the show’s staff were “informed about its end on Thursday.”

The Problem With Jon Stewart debuted in 2021 after Stewart’s six-year hiatus from talk shows. The show saw huge success, with critics praising Stewart for his “articulate anger and acute intelligence.”

The report claims Stewart and Apple executives couldn’t see eye to eye on topics and guests for the show, and Apple had issues with potential show topics covering China and artificial intelligence. One source told The New York Times, “As the 2024 presidential campaign begins to heat up, there was potential for further creative disagreements.”

Creative control

One source told The Hollywood Reporter, “Stewart wanted full creative control of the series, a preference Apple didn’t agree to, causing Stewart to walk away from the show.”

Stewart’s talk show is an interesting problem for Apple, where the company has delved into the world of streaming with Apple TV Plus but equally wants to avoid any controversy due to the topics of the shows on the streaming platform. Stewart’s openness to talk about political and geopolitical conflicts is obviously a step too far for Apple’s executives.

The Problem with Jon Stewart is nominated for Outstanding Talk Series at the Emmys, which takes place in January next year, and it will be interesting to see if the show wins and how much emphasis Apple puts on the success following the cancellation.

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John-Anthony Disotto
How To Editor

John-Anthony Disotto is the How To Editor of iMore, ensuring you can get the most from your Apple products and helping fix things when your technology isn’t behaving itself. Living in Scotland, where he worked for Apple as a technician focused on iOS and iPhone repairs at the Genius Bar, John-Anthony has used the Apple ecosystem for over a decade and prides himself in his ability to complete his Apple Watch activity rings. John-Anthony has previously worked in editorial for collectable TCG websites and graduated from The University of Strathclyde where he won the Scottish Student Journalism Award for Website of the Year as Editor-in-Chief of his university paper. He is also an avid film geek, having previously written film reviews and received the Edinburgh International Film Festival Student Critics award in 2019.  John-Anthony also loves to tinker with other non-Apple technology and enjoys playing around with game emulation and Linux on his Steam Deck.

In his spare time, John-Anthony can be found watching any sport under the sun from football to darts, taking the term “Lego house” far too literally as he runs out of space to display any more plastic bricks, or chilling on the couch with his French Bulldog, Kermit.