By John Gruber
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Alex Kantrowitz and John Paczkowski, reporting for BuzzFeed News:
In early 2018 as development on Apple’s slate of exclusive Apple TV+ programming was underway, the company’s leadership gave guidance to the creators of some of those shows to avoid portraying China in a poor light, BuzzFeed News has learned. Sources in position to know said the instruction was communicated by Eddy Cue, Apple’s SVP of internet software and services, and Morgan Wandell, its head of international content development. It was part of Apple’s ongoing efforts to remain in China’s good graces after a 2016 incident in which Beijing shut down Apple’s iBooks Store and iTunes Movies six months after they debuted in the country.
Hey and don’t mention that Turkey is bad. We sell a lot of watches there. And don’t mention Saudi Arabia murdering journalists — they love the iMac and don’t mention Russia — big iPad market.
Apple’s far from alone here. Making big-budget movies and TV shows China-friendly is de rigueur in Hollywood today, and Apple TV+ is now a player in Hollywood. But how is this not a victory for the stifling of free speech?
★ Saturday, 12 October 2019