Apple’s Distaste For Sex And Violence Threatens Its Original Series Streaming Service

Apple has been hard at work on its streaming media service for several. In 2015, reports suggested that the service was delayed as Apple worked through negations for local programming. Apple has plowed on in the years since, and has signed up several shows that sound interesting, but all of that content reportedly has a strict focus on not showing excessive sex or violence. Some see Apple's insistence on focusing on family-friendly content as putting a limit on the appeal of the service and slowing down its road to market.


Word is that Apple passed on a show focused on rapper and Beats headphone icon Dr. Dre's life called Vital Signs. The reason Apple passed was that the show was too violent. Tim Cook reportedly said "Apple can't show this" after watching an episode of the show a year ago. Apple is also working on a reboot of the classic Steven Spielberg show Amazing Stories, but that show has seen challenges including the loss of showrunner Bryan Fuller. Fuller allegedly left Apple after having a conflict with Cupertino over the strict focus on family-friendly content.

Reports also indicate that Apple is having an issue with its other major series based on a morning news show that stars Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon. The issue with that show is scheduling conflicts with Witherspoon that have led to delays. Reports suggest that this show is costing Apple a whopping $12 million per episode. With Apple's massive war chest, it can certainly afford that price tag better than most.

Despite the massive investment in the streaming service, the reliance on family-friendly content could hurt the service in the long run. Rumors suggest that the content is bland to the point that some insiders are calling the service "expensive NBC." Apple has drawn a line and made it clear to all producers and showrunners that it wants nothing to do with gratuitous sex, profanity, and violence. Further complicating matters is the company's insistence on seeking to avoid any shows with overt political or religious subjects.