Jon Stewart Goes Into More Detail About Apple Exit and Reveals Execs’ Concerns: ‘They Didn’t Censor Me,’ but ‘Our Aims Don’t Align in Any Way’

Jon Stewart continues to open up about his split from Apple after parting ways with the tech giant after hosting two seasons of “The Problem.” Stewart debuted the talk show in 2021 as part of a multi-year first-look deal with Apple. The first season of the show aired episodes every two weeks, while the second season switched to a weekly format. The streamer confirmed last October that Stewart’s program would not return.

“They didn’t censor me, it wasn’t free speech,” Stewart recently said on “The Town” podcast (via Rolling Stone) about the end of his Apple relationship. “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.”

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Stewart detailed one example of the disagreements he got into with Apple. It centered on a conversation Stewart had for “The Problem” with economist Larry Summers. The two gentlemen were talking about federal trade interests and corporate profits when Summers pointed on the glaringly obvious fact that Stewart was hosting a talk show for Apple. Stewart admitted that all corporations, meaning Apple as well, are gouging customers.

“We play the interview for the audience, they explode like we just hit a three-pointer at the buzzer,” Stewart said. “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.”

There is no ill will against Apple, Stewart said, adding: “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.”

“There’s a mantra we all have to remember: Corporations are pussies,” he later said when asked about the larger relationship between the entertainment industry covering geopolitical issues. “They are now, and they always have been. 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.”

Stewart made headlines in February when he appeared on “CBS Mornings” and said that Apple canceled “The Problem With Jon Stewart” because “they didn’t want me to say things that might get me in trouble.” On the April 1 episode of “The Daily Show,” he went into greater detail about Apple’s concerns over the direction of his now-axed talk show and corresponding podcast.

Stewart was interviewing Federal Trade Commission chair Lina Khan on “The Daily Show” and told her that he once pitched to have her as a guest on “The Problem” podcast. Considering Khan’s work at the FTC targets tech giants’ monopolistic practices, Apple allegedly did not want Stewart bringing her on the program to presumably talk about such topics.

“I wanted to have you on a podcast and Apple asked us not to do it,” Stewart said. “They literally said, ‘Please don’t talk to her.’”

Stewart said Apple didn’t even want him talking about the perils of AI on his podcast. He now hosts new episodes of “The Daily Show” on Monday nights on Comedy Central.

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