Apple cancelled Jon Stewart’s show, and now lawmakers want to know whether it was because of China’s ‘coercive tactics’

US lawmakers are pushing Apple Inc. for more information on its streaming show The problem with Jon Stewartwhich was reportedly canceled following disagreements over how to handle issues such as China.

Mike Gallagher, Republican of Wisconsin, and Raja Krishnamoorthi, Democrat of Illinois, sent a letter to CEO Tim Cook regarding the decision not to produce a third season of the show on Apple TV+. The lawmakers – the top Republicans and Democrats on the House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) – cited a New York Times report that found topics related to China and artificial intelligence were raising concerns among Apple executives.

“We support the ability of artists, writers, studios, and streaming services to create content without fear of possible retaliation and sanctions from the CCP,” the lawmakers said in their statement. the letter, which was posted online. “While companies have the right to determine what content is appropriate for their streaming service, the coercive tactics of a foreign power should not directly or indirectly influence those decisions. »

A representative for Apple, based in Cupertino, California, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Stewart, a veteran of The daily show on Comedy Central, served as host and executive producer of the Apple TV+ series, which aired from 2021 until this year. The hour-long talk show tackled issues such as globalization and the incarceration epidemic in the United States.

Gallagher and Krishnamoorthi requested a briefing with Apple before December 15 so they “can better understand the facts behind the recent reporting.”

“We also plan to speak with representatives of Mr. Stewart,” they said in the letter.

Apple spear its TV+ platform in 2019 and has spent billions of dollars on programming. The $9.99 per month deal is part of a broader push by the iPhone maker to make more money from the services.

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