Apple CEO Tim Cook is reportedly taking a very hands-on role in Apple’s original TV shows.
The New York Post reports that Apple’s original shows are suffering because of executive interference. Numerous sources told the Post that agents and producers are becoming exasperated with “intrusive” Apple executives, including CEO Tim Cook.
“Tim Cook is giving notes and getting involved,” a producer who has worked with Apple said. The producer said one of Cook’s most frequent notes is “don’t be so mean!” An agent also said Cook has been giving “feedback” as he seeks family-friendly content.
Sources also told the Post that delays to the company’s streaming service launch have been a source of irritation, as well as a “lack of clarity” over exactly what kind of shows the company wants.
“They are making big changes, firing and hiring new writers. There’s a lack of clarity on what they want… A lot of the product is not as good as they hoped it to be,” the producer said.
This isn’t the first time reports have surfaced that Tim Cook is intervening in the creative process for Apple’s original content. The Wall Street Journal reported in September that Cook spiked a semi-autobiographical drama series by hip-hop star Dr Dre, saying it was too violent for Apple.
The complaints from producers and TV executives contrasts with views on Netflix, for example, which is often lauded for giving creative freedom. “Grey’s Anatomy” creator Shonda Rhimes is one high-profile TV figure who has praised Netflix. “I love the creative freedom that’s available there,” she told Recode after signing a four-year deal with the streaming service. “There’s no restrictions. There’s no broadcast standards and practices.”
Apple’s new streaming service is expected to be unveiled this month, but sources told the Post that only a few of the dozens of shows it has in the works will be immediately available on the service when it goes live.
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