Jon Stewart Says Apple ‘Wouldn’t Let Us Do’ an Anti-AI Segment and ‘Asked Us Not’ to Have Federal Trade Commission Chair as a Guest: ‘What Is That Sensitivity?’

Jon Stewart made headlines in February when he appeared on “CBS Mornings” ahead of his return to hosting Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” and said that Apple canceled his previous talk show, “The Problem With Jon Stewart,” because “they didn’t want me to say things that might get me in trouble.” On the April 1 episode of “The Daily Show,” Stewart went into greater detail about Apple’s concerns over the direction of his now-axed talk show and corresponding podcast.

Stewart was interviewing Federal Trade Commission chair Lina Khan on “The Daily Show” and told her that he once pitched to have her as a guest on “The Problem” podcast. Considering Khan’s work at the FTC targets tech giants’ monopolistic practices, Apple allegedly did not want Stewart bringing her on the program to presumably talk about such topics.

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“I wanted to have you on a podcast and Apple asked us not to do it,” Stewart said. “They literally said, ‘Please don’t talk to her.’”

Stewart went one step further and said Apple didn’t even want him talking about the perils of AI on his podcast. He said “they wouldn’t let us do even that dumb thing we just did in the first act on AI,” referring to a near 15-minute segment Stewart did earlier in the show in which he criticized the rise of AI and spoke about how it’s making human workers obsolete.

“Like, what is that sensitivity?” Stewart asked about Apple. “Why are they so afraid to even have these conversations out in the public sphere?”

“I think it just shows the danger of what happens when you concentrate so much power and so much decision making in a small number of companies,” Khan answered.

Variety has reached out to Apple representatives for comment.

Stewart debuted his Apple series in 2021 as part of a multi-year first-look deal he signed with the streaming arm of the tech giant. The first season of the show aired episodes every two weeks, while the second season switched to a weekly format. “The Problem” had Stewart exploring a single topic with each episode. The streamer confirmed last October that Stewart’s program would not return for a third season.

While an individual with knowledge of the situation said at the time that Stewart and Apple’s split was an amicable one, The New York Times reported the duo had disagreements over topics that were to be covered in the third season, including AI and China. Members of the U.S. House of Representatives later questioned Apple CEO Tim Cook about whether the tech giant’s decision to cancel Stewart’s show was because the host may have been planning an upcoming episode about China.

Stewart hosts new episodes of “The Daily Show” on Monday nights on Comedy Central.

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