Jon Stewart Defends Apple TV+ for Canceling His Show Over ‘Disagreements’ of Tone, Subject Matter: ‘They Didn’t Censor Me’

“The deal is I get to do what I want until they think it’s going to hurt their beer sales, or whatever it is that they want to sell,” the “Daily Show” host says

The Problem With Jon Stewart
"The Problem With Jon Stewart" (Credit: Apple TV+)

What had Jon Stewart excited about his Apple TV+ series “The Problem” is exactly why it was canceled ahead of Season 3. While speaking on Matthew Belloni’s podcast “The Town,” the comedian and “Daily Show” host confirmed reports that there were “disagreements” in tone and subject matter on the news talk show, but he defended the tech and media giant for the decision, saying that “they didn’t censor me, it wasn’t free speech.”

“As things went along and I did a bunch of other projects, I started having this idea in the back of my head about sort of the difference between weather and climate when it came to the institutions and the media and all these different things,” he said. “And ‘The Daily Show’ had always been a little bit more about the weather, you know, we were kind of every day in there, and the genesis of ‘The Problem’ was what if we looked at it more as climate systems — what causes the weather? How do these things arise? And I felt invigorated again by it. There was something about changing that perspective and looking at it from this slightly askew place that felt revelatory to me and kind of excited me again.”

Stewart continued: “That was the Apple show. And then Apple said, ‘We would prefer you not do that.’ And then I said, ‘Oh no, no, but I’m excited again.’ And they were like, ‘Yes, yes, we are less so.’ And so, you know, we had some disagreements about the direction of it, the tone of it, the subject matter, et cetera.”

The comedian said that when you’re working for a company like Apple, there are a lot of factors they have to take into account. The worry arose that “The Problem” might harm relationships that were important to other aspects of the Apple business.

“I don’t consider this, like, they didn’t censor me, it wasn’t free speech,” Stewart said. “Like, when you work for a corporate entity, that’s part of the deal. Like, even at Comedy Central. The deal is I get to do what I want until they think it’s going to hurt their beer sales, or whatever it is that they want to sell. And that’s the deal that we all make. Nobody is owed a platform. And when you’re in somebody’s house and they want you to take your shoes off, you take your f–king shoes off or you go to somebody else’s house.”

Stewart has kept busy despite “The Problem” cancellation last fall. It was announced at the beginning of the year that he’d be hosting “The Daily Show” again one day per week through the 2024 election year. He also debuted his podcast “The Weekly Show With Jon Stewart” at the beginning of June.

Listen to Stewart’s full podcast interview with Belloni here.

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