Well, well, well. It appears Apple has finally addressed those pesky rumors that the company’s executives are meddling in the script writing of its streaming platform offerings. And listen up gang, some of this stuff is (at least by the company’s standards) not for the little ones.
Here’s how this fun rumor started: Back in September, the Wall Street Journal ran a sweeping report on what we now know as Apple TV+, the streaming product that will house all of Apple’s original programming. Citing sources familiar with the matter, the Journal reported that Apple was extremely prickly about excessive violence, sex, or foul language in its various products. Given what we know about its original series so far, this scans.
But according to Apple’s senior vice president of internet software and services Eddy Cue, that’s not so! In fact, he said in an interview with British GQ published Monday, Apple’s series The Morning Show starring Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston is “a show about women in the workplace and some of the issues that happen to them are definitely not appropriate for you to watch with an eight-year-old.” What could these things be?!
“The language,” according to Cue, who said that “there are other things. But I don’t want to spoil it.” In its quest to have something for everyone, Cue said, the streaming platform will have shows meant for children and others “dedicated to mature adults.” The mind wonders!
When the Journal reported the rumored prohibition on content that would so much as raise an eyebrow, it also said that Tim Cook was instrumental for torpedoing Dr. Dre’s semi-biographical Vital Signs, which he reportedly deemed too violent. That Cook was in the kitchen and so heavily involving himself with scripts appeared to be corroborated by a New York Post report in March that cited a producer as claiming the Apple CEO “is giving notes and getting involved,” allegedly even writing notes that read, “Don’t be so mean!”
Cue denied that he or Cook ever gave notes on scripts—including the bit on Cook’s alleged “so mean” comments—calling the report “100 percent false.” He further claimed that both he and Cook “leave the folks [alone] who know they’re doing.”
Listen, I’m not trying to suggest that Tim Cook has taken a break from running a multibillion-dollar company—one of the most powerful in the world, you might say—to hit up the writers rooms of Apple’s handful of forthcoming series. But one look at the offerings already announced for Apple TV+ makes for kind of a yawn. And we don’t even need to go HBO-levels of nudity, profanity, and violence. Something other than its current roster of “meh” originals might be nice.
As we’ve already watched Netflix bomb this spectacularly, is some great—or even good—content really too much to ask?