Apple killed next show Apple TV Plus about Gawker, a now defunct news organization, according to a report by the New York Times. The show, called Scraper, is one to add to the list of stories about Apple’s killer projects that touch on things too sensitive or annoying for the company.
When Tim Cook found out Apple was working on the show, he reportedly sent an email saying he was surprised to hear about it. He also mentioned that he dislikes Gawker. Although Apple decided to kill the project, the show returned to the market, where another distributor could buy and finance it.
This isn’t the first time Apple executives have stepped in to steer their TV service away from controversy. In 2018 Apple reportedly killed a movie about Dr. Dre due to gratuitous violence and sex, and Apple boss Eddy Cue reportedly said the service will never do two things: “stubborn nudity and China.” Apple has directed showcases to avoid portraying China in a negative light, Buzzfeed reported.
The executive who bought the show, Layne Eskridge, is leaving the company.
Gawker was fundamentally controversial – as Tim Cook personally knew. Gawker surpassed him as a gay man in 2008. The Gawker Media Group included several blogs; in 2010, one of them, Gizmodo, found and leaked the iPhone 4 before it was launched. (Later, the reporter’s home was attacked by police.)
Gawker captivates as a show precisely because the blog has such a mixed heritage. It was one of the media that revived interest in Bill Cosby, who was later convicted of aggravated indecent assault. It also reported rumors of misconduct by Louis CK and Harvey Weinstein.
Gawker students Max Read and Cord Jefferson are linked to the show. Jefferson also wrote for Guards, The Good Place, and Owner of Nobody.
Gawker, it seems, was born to bring controversy to everything it touched – even four years after his death.