Jon Stewart Says Apple TV+ Canceled His Show Because ‘They Didn’t Want Me to Say Things That Might Get Me in Trouble’

Ahead of his return as host of Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show,” Jon Stewart stopped by “CBS Mornings” to explain why it was finally time to return to his old job. Stewart hosted the network’s flagship news show from 1999 to 2015. He’ll now be hosting only Monday episodes throughout the 2024 election cycle. Stewart said he needed a platform to speak about the upcoming election, which he no longer had after Apple canceled his talk show last year.

“I wanted a place to unload thoughts as we get into this election season,” Stewart said. “I thought I was going to do it over at — they call it Apple TV+. It’s a television enclave, very small. It’s like living in Malibu. But they decided … they felt that they didn’t want me to say things that might get me in trouble.”

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Variety has reached out to Apple for comment.

Stewart debuted his Apple series, “The Problem With Jon Stewart,” 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.

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 that the duo had disagreements over topics that were to be covered in the third season, including A.I. 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.

“While companies have the right to determine what content is appropriate for their streaming service, the coercive tactics of a foreign power should not be directly or indirectly influencing these determinations,” the leaders of the House of Representatives’ Select Committee on Competition with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) wrote in the letter to Cook.

While Stewart did not mention the rumors about Apple’s alleged worry over an episode about China, he did say the tech giant “didn’t want me to say things that might get me in trouble.” As for his “Daily Show” return, he said he hopes to provide a “catharsis” to viewers this election season and a “way to comment on things and a way to express them that hopefully people will enjoy”.

“The team are unbelievable,” he added about reuniting with his “Daily Show” family. “Jen Flanz runs a ridiculous ship, she knows what she’s doing in a way that is really impressive to watch and all of the writing staff and producers. It’s a building filled with incredibly talented people.”

Watch Stewart’s full appearance on “CBS Mornings” in the post below.

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