Apple reportedly spiked original TV shows because of violence, sex as it etches out content strategy

Apple spiked a show about hip hop artist Dr. Dre’s life because it featured drug use, sex and violence, the Wall Street Journal reported, highlighting the iPhone maker’s conservative approach to its nascent original content strategy.

The world’s most valuable company wants high-quality shows with big names and wide appeal, but it doesn’t want gratuitous sex, profanity or violence, the WSJ said in a report released Saturday, citing producers and agents it spoke to.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has sent a message to Hollywood that Apple does not want shows that could taint is brand image.

In the case of the Dr. Dre semi-biopic “Vital Signs,” Cook found it too violent, according to the WSJ. The report details Apple’s first-hand involvement with the shows it has commissioned. The tech giant won rights to a drama starring Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon but replaced the showrunner before filming because of concerns over their inexperience, but also the humor in the script. The show is now delayed and having scheduling issues with Witherspoon, the WSJ reported.

Apple was not immediately available for comment when contacted by CNBC.

Hollywood is seeing a huge shift in its business thanks to the rise of streaming services spearheaded by technology firms like Netflix and Amazon. Apple is still very new to the space having launched a handful of shows such as “Planet of the Apps” and “Carpool Karaoke.” But it has a number of shows in the pipeline.

Management at the Cupertino-based firm have been tight-lipped on the content strategy but have sounded optimistic.

“I couldn’t be more excited about what’s going on there,” Cook said on a recent phone call with analyst.

Read the full Wall Street Journal report here.

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