A group of lawmakers in the House of Representatives want to know: Was China the reason for Jon Stewart’s departure from Apple TV+?
Stewart’s show, The problem with Jon Stewart, effectively ended last month when Stewart and his team parted ways amid “creative differences.” Sources said The Hollywood Reporter at the time that “there had been tensions between Apple and Stewart prior to the return of the show’s third season over topics covered therein The problem.” Among the topics were issues related to China and artificial intelligence.
Now the House Select Committee of the Chinese Communist Party has sent a letter to Apple and its CEO Tim Cook, citing: THR story, and whether the tech giant’s long relationship with China was behind the move.
“If these reports are accurate, they may speak to broader concerns about the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) indirect influence over the creative expression of American artists and companies on CCP-related topics,” said the letter, which was signed by Chairman Mike Gallagher (R). -Wisc.) and ranking member Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Illinois). “We support the ability of artists, writers, studios and streaming services to create content without fear of possible retaliation and punishment from the CCP.”
The representatives also acknowledged that Stewart, the influential former host of The daily show, probably has options that other comics or actors might not have.
“If Jon Stewart can potentially be hindered from commenting on the CCP, what does this mean for less prominent personalities?” the letter continues. “While there’s a chance that a high-profile individual like Jon Stewart could find another streaming service where he can express his views on PRC-related matters, an aspiring comedian who wants to use satire to make broader points about human rights and authoritarianism is faced with even bleaker prospects. We respectfully believe that this needs to change and that responsible creative professionals should be able to write and perform freely on PRC-related topics.”
And they linked the decision to the larger issue that they say Chinese officials indirectly influence in Hollywood through a perceived fear of retaliation or impact on their businesses.
“While we recognize the difficult situation companies may find themselves in, potential decisions not to renew shows, or not produce a film or show at all, due to anticipated CCP objections to certain content, deny U.S. viewers and global audiences access to important information. about the PRC that reflects a broader diversity of perspectives,” the letter said. “This means that the CCP’s coercive behavior harms creative workers who are unable to express their opinions through content without serious professional consequences, production companies and distribution channels who take a chance on controversial CCP-related content and are often retaliated against the public, as well as the public. who may not be able to view content that speaks to an important geopolitical challenge of our time.”