Jon Stewart says Apple wouldn’t let him interview FTC chair

Comedian Jon Stewart said Monday that Apple wouldn’t let him interview Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Chair Lina Khan for his former podcast.

“I gotta tell you, I wanted to have you on a podcast, and Apple asked us not to do it,” Stewart said during an interview with Khan on “The Daily Show.”

“They literally said, ‘Please don’t talk to her.’”

Stewart returned to “The Daily Show” as a part-time host and executive producer earlier this year after parting ways with Apple. The tech giant canceled his show, “The Problem with Jon Stewart,” over creative differences and subject matter concerns last fall.

Stewart’s plans to discuss China and artificial intelligence (AI) on future shows reportedly caused concern among Apple executives, according to The New York Times.

“They wouldn’t let us do even that dumb thing we just did in the first act on AI,” Stewart said of an earlier segment on Monday’s show. “Like, what is that sensitivity? Why are they so afraid to have these conservations out in the public sphere?”

“I think it just shows one of the dangers of what happens when you concentrate so much power and so much decisionmaking in a small number of companies,” Khan responded.

Apple is currently facing a wide-ranging antitrust lawsuit from the Department of Justice and 16 states for allegedly maintaining an illegal monopoly over smartphones.

The lawsuit, filed late last month, accuses the tech giant of limiting competition and hurting consumers, developers and small businesses through its operation of its App Store. The company is also accused of limiting the function of third-party smart watches and hurting the quality of cross-platform messaging.

The Justice Department also voiced concerns in the lawsuit about Apple’s ability to “control content” through its growing role in TV and movies.

“Apple’s conduct extends beyond just monopoly profits and even affects the flow of speech,” the lawsuit reads. “For example, Apple is rapidly expanding its role as a TV and movie producer and has exercised that role to control content.”

The Hill reached out to Apple for comment.

For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to The Hill.