Apple CEO Tim Cook personally put the kibosh on a proposed Apple TV+ series about controversial blogging network Gawker Media.
A New York Times report on Sunday says Apple had been in the early stages of developing a series about Gawker called “Scraper.” The series was reportedly pitched by two former Gawker staffers, Max Read and Cord Jefferson.
The Times says the show was scrapped after Cook found out about its development. Sources say Cook was “surprised” to learn of the development, and immediately emailed an Apple executive to express his “distinctly negative view” towards the project. This seems logical, as both Apple and Cook have been burned by Gawker.
Mr. Cook, according to two people briefed on the email, was surprised to learn that his company was making a show about Gawker, which had humiliated the company at various times and famously outed him, back in 2008, as gay. He expressed a distinctly negative view toward Gawker, the people said. Apple proceeded to kill the project. And now, the show is back on the market and the executive who brought it in, Layne Eskridge, has left the company. Gawker, it seems, is making trouble again.
Apple as a company has had its issues with Gawker in the past, as in 2010, Gizmodo (owned by Gawker), got its hands on an iPhone 4 prototype that had been left in a bar by an Apple employee.
Cook has in the past put a stop to controversial Apple TV+ projects. In 2018, it was reported that Cook put a stop to a Dr. Dre biopic “Vital Signs” due to the show’s scenes depicting drawn guns, sex, and drug use.
The Sunday Times report also claims that Apple’s senior VP for internet software and services, Eddy Cue has told Apple TV+ partners that “the two things we will never do are hard-core nudity and China.”
As early as 2018, company executives reportedly gave guidance to some Apple TV+ show creators to “avoid portraying China in a bad light.”
The full report is available on The New York Times website.