Apple TV+’s The Problem with Jon Stewart has been canceled after the much-hyped talk show failed to generate public interest, with some estimates putting its viewership as low as 40,000 U.S. homes for some episodes.
But several reports are claiming that the show was given the ax after Jon Stewart clashed with Apple over the subject matter that the comedian was planning for three shows during the upcoming season — China, Israel, and artificial intelligence.
The New York Times, which first broke the news of Stewart’s departure, attributed this unease from Apple to Stewart via unnamed employees of the show.
Mr. Stewart and Apple executives had disagreements over some of the topics and guests on “The Problem,” two of the people said. 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, a person with knowledge of the meeting said.
"Late at night while cuddling with his unearned ego, Stewart knows this — he has never been a ratings success." https://t.co/vDrDf5G18d
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) October 20, 2023
A later CNN report named Israel as a third contentious issue that Apple was hesitant to touch — and further described Stewart as “frustrated” by his employer’s resistance.
“Although Apple gave Stewart creative control over the show, he grew increasingly frustrated that the company was pushing back on the show’s guest list and show subjects, he told staff,” the article states.
China is clearly a sensitive topic for Apple. The repressive communist country accounts for almost a fifth of Apple’s sales and serves as the manufacturing base for most Apple products.
The Problem with Jon Stewart debuted on Apple TV+ in 2021 to a blitz of mainstream media publicity. The show was touted as Stewart’s next big thing following his successful tenure on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show.
But, as Breitbart News pointed out, the viewership never materialized beyond the initial curiosity factor.
The show bowed as the No. 1 unscripted series on Apple TV+ in its debut month but then quickly dropped viewers, falling by a catastrophic 78 percent to 40,000 households by episode five.
During his time on Apple TV+, Stewart did little to differentiate himself from his far-left contemporaries. While he occasionally punched left on issues such as the Bidens’ corrupt family business and the censorship of the Wuhan coronavirus lab leak theory, he also has eagerly toed the line on woke culture war issues such as “white fragility” and gender anarchy.