Jon Stewart Details Disagreements With Apple After TV Show Breakdown

Jon Stewart Details Disagreements With Apple After TV Show Breakdown

Jon Stewart weighed in on the abrupt end of his Apple TV series The Problem With Jon Stewart this week, further detailing the disagreements he and Apple had on the content he wanted to produce for the platform.

“They didn’t censor me, it wasn’t free speech,” Stewart told Puck journalist Matt Belloni on the latest episode of his podcast The Town. “When you work for a corporate entity, that’s part of the deal, even at Comedy Central. The deal is I get to do what I want until it’s going to hurt their beer sales or whatever it is they want to sell. And that’s the deal we all make.”

Stewart’s deal with Apple ended last October, with Stewart reportedly telling his staff that he and the company had disagreements on several topics such as China and artificial intelligence.

He recalled a specific instance when he was shooting the show’s second season, during his interview with economist Larry Summers. As the two discussed high corporate profits and federal interest rates, Summers pointed out that Stewart’s program was airing on Apple. Stewart acknowledged it and said that all corporations are gouging customers, and Summers acknowledged that raising interest rates softens the labor market.

“We play the interview for the audience, they explode like we just hit a three-pointer at the buzzer,” Stewart recalled, adding that Apple raised concerns soon after. “The show ends, we go downstairs in full Rudy mode. The Apple executives walk into the dressing room afterwards with a look on their face and I was like ‘oh my God, did the factory explode, what happened?’”

“And they go ‘are you going to use that Summers thing,” Stewarts continued. “I was like ‘the one where the crowd cheered?’ We went back and forth for a couple of weeks before the show aired about that particular moment. It was then that I realized, ‘Oh, our aims don’t align in any way.’ We’re trying to make the best most insightful execution of the intention that we can make, but they’re protecting a different agenda. And that’s when I knew we were in trouble.”

Stewart said he had no ill will with Apple since The Problem ended, but further said that “the ethos of when you work for a company, whether it’s Amazon or Apple or now these new conglomerates, it’s a different calculus.”

Belloni further questioned Stewart on the changes the entertainment industry has faced while handling content alongside global geopolitical concerns, to which Stewart jokingly said: “There’s a mantra we all have to remember: Corporations are pussies.”


“They are now, and they always have been,” Stewart said. “They’re not looking to cause problems. I worked on Comedy Central, their lawyers were constantly under the threat of advertiser boycotts. Comedy Central’s brand was provocation, to some extent. And so that was for the most part positive for them. Most content companies don’t want that smoke.”

Since the deal with Apple ended, Stewart has rejoined The Daily Show part-time once a week, following the revolving door of hosts that hit the program since his own replacement Trevor Noah left the show in 2022.

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