Jon Stewart Says Apple Asked Him Not to Talk to FTC Chair on The Problem

Jon Stewart has revealed that Apple asked him not to talk to the Federal Trade Commission Chair Lina Khan on his former Apple TV+ show and podcast, The Problem with Jon Stewart.

Khan was a guest on Monday’s episode of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show, and Stewart made the admission during the interview. When the discussion moved on to artificial intelligence, Stewart told Khan that he had wanted to talk to her on The Problem.

“I’ve got to tell you, I wanted to have you on a podcast and Apple asked us not to do it, to have you. They literally said, ‘please don’t talk to her’,” Stewart said. “I don’t think they cared for you,” he then joked.

Khan, who became chair of the FTC in 2021, has made a name for herself for being an outspoken critic of the business practices of the likes of Amazon, Meta and the other companies commonly described as Big Tech and has been praised by both Democrats and Republicans for her antitrust efforts.

Stewart added that Apple were also concerned about the way The Problem would tackle the issue of AI. “They wouldn’t let us do that dumb thing we did in the first act on AI,” Stewart said, referring to a segment from earlier in the show that mocked some of the promises of AI.

“What is that sensitivity? Why are they so afraid to even have these conversations out in the public sphere?” Stewart asked Khan, but seemed to be speaking more broadly.

Last October, Apple TV+ abruptly canceled the eight-episode third season of The Problem. The Hollywood Reporter reported that there had been tension between Apple and Stewart ahead of season three over topics that would be featured in the show. Sources told THR that Apple approached Stewart and informed the host that both sides needed to be “aligned” regarding topics on the show. Stewart, sources say, balked at the idea of being “hamstrung” by Apple, which threatened to cancel the series. Stewart, sources say, wanted to have full creative control of the series and, after Apple threatened to cancel the series, told the tech company that he was walking away from the show rather than have his hands tied.

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