Longtime host and political commentator Jon Stewart branched into streaming territory with “The Problem With Jon Stewart” following his “The Daily Show” run in 2021. The former aired on Apple TV+, and has now been cancelled after only two seasons.
The New York Times reports that staff of the program were informed of the show’s end on Thursday. The cancellation comes amid alleged creative differences between Stewart and the creative giant. From 1999 to 2015, Stewart became known for revamping “The Daily Show” into a cultural mainstay, cementing himself as a media and politics critic.
The host is also known for his ability to push the envelope and bring on guests to discuss highly controversial topics. The alleged topic that led to the cancellation was Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the current politics of China. Apple executives were allegedly concerned about the show broaching these subjects, and the upcoming 2024 presidential election.
A representative for Apple declined to comment directly on the matter. The show generated a number of viral interview clips, and was nominated for an Emmy for outstanding talk series. Stewart’s show’s cancellation on a streaming service comes after the cancellation of a number of other programs with a similar format, including programs hosted by Sarah Silverman, Norm Macdonald, Chelsea Handler and Joel McHale.
Social Media Reactions
Fans of the show applauded Stewart’s alleged decision to stick with his own editorial integrity, and not cater to big tech to maintain his show.
Apple cancelled Jon Stewart's show, which was looking into a segment on AI and China. Very admirable Stewart walked rather than "align" with Apple's views and demand for control—but it's yet another reflection of big tech's power to control what we see.https://t.co/ic8nejFuSS pic.twitter.com/asAeeb5QSK
— Brian Merchant (@bcmerchant) October 20, 2023
Others continue to resurface clips from Stewart’s most recent show or from “The Daily Show”, acknowledging his sharp ability to tackle a number of topics, and how this will likely continue to serve him in a different medium.
If you'd like to see how absolutely nothing has changed in the conversation around Israel & Palestine despite decades of violence, here's Jon Stewart doing a bit that could literally air today without a single change. pic.twitter.com/D0yrtaAsac
— Cooper (@Cooperstreaming) October 11, 2023
Some hope that Stewart returns to “The Daily Show” or guest hosts for Stephen Colbert.
I hear the Daily show is looking for a host.
— Almost the Buddha (@UniversalEugene) October 20, 2023
Jon Stewart should have been the host of Meet the Press….And why is he not Stephen Colbert's guest host??
— Whitmore ???????????????????? (@Whitmore98) October 20, 2023
Elsewhere, a number of viewers expressed agreement with Stewart’s alleged stance on AI. Some feel that the technology has overtaken the industry far too much.
Good for Mr. Stewart. BTW, I'm so tired of hearing about AI. Quality tech podcasts are now unlistenable because it's all AI, all the time.
— Bill Feinberg (@hoppysport) October 19, 2023
Some X users question if a different streamer with less censorship would pick up his show, like HBO.
Is it that, or was HBO hoping for a 1/4 of The Daily Show numbers under a different format, and that never came to fruition? ????♂️
(Love Jon, btw. Just asking)
— C3 (@C3NOPO) October 19, 2023
Others feel that Stewart should take legal action against Apple for allegedly infringing upon his freedom of speech.
So much for free speech eh?
— sanemone (@sanemone) October 19, 2023
“Creative differences”…Jon wants to talk truth. GOOD MAN, JON!! Bring it on over to X!! A right of passage for real journalists!
— Sothi (@Sothi14294896) October 19, 2023
Some argued that the conversations surrounding AI could have even benefitted Apple TV had they given Stewart’s ideas a chance this season.
This is disappointing news. It's important to have open discussions on topics like China and AI, even if there are disagreements.
— Laisha Schaefer (@BriceJacob23070) October 19, 2023
Stewart is yet to speak out on the cancellation of “The Problem With Jon Stewart,” and neither has Apple. It remains unclear if Apple TV+ intends to move forward with further news programming at this time, as this format tends to discuss hotly debatable topics.