Apple TV was making a show about Gawker Media, but it was canceled once Apple CEO Tim Cook found out about it.
Apple had completed several episodes of the show, called “Scraper,” when Cook sent out an email expressing a negative view of Gawker, the New York Times reported. Two people briefed on the email told the Times that Cook was surprised to hear that Apple TV was making the show.
Shortly after the email was sent, Apple stopped production.
Cook’s distaste for Gawker likely began when the company outed him as gay in 2008. In 2010, Gawker clashed with Apple after they were able to get a prototype of the iPhone 4, which Cook pleaded to get back, according to the Times. Police even raided an editor’s house trying to find it. Gawker filed for bankruptcy in 2016 after a lawsuit secretly filed by entrepreneur Peter Thiel was brought against the company. (RELATED: Former Gawker Employees Attempt To Resurrect The Site)
Apple TV Was Making a Show About Gawker. Then Tim Cook Found Out. https://t.co/D5vEOcq588
— Ben Smith (@benyt) December 13, 2020
The idea for Scraper was sold to Apple TV by Gawker’s former editor-in-chief, Max Reid, and former Gawker editor Cord Jefferson. Apple also brought on former Gawker editors Emma Carmichael and Leah Beckmann as writers for the show. Layne Eskridge, the Apple executive who brought on the show, has now left the company and the show is back on the market, the Times reported.
This isn’t the first time a show has been altered or canceled to keep Apple executives happy. During the production of another Apple show, a person involved told the Times that they were told to avoid a scene where a phone would be damaged. Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president for internet software and services, instructed content producers to “avoid portraying China in a poor light,” Buzzfeed reported. Cue also told partners that “the two things we will never do are hard-core nudity and China,” a creative figure who has worked with Apple told the Times.
A Dr. Dre biopic was killed personally by Cook, who said there was too much violence and nudity, the Wall Street Journal reported in 2018. Apple also asked M. Night Shyamalan, the director of the thriller movie “Servant,” to keep crucifixes off of the walls, according to the report.