- Apple CEO Tim Cook shot down Apple’s Dr. Dre drama “Vital Signs” after objecting to scenes showing drugs, sex, and violence, the Wall Street Journal reports.
- The Journal said Apple is pursuing a family-friendly content strategy for its push into TV.
- Apple’s original video ambitions emerged in 2017, with a reported budget of $US1 billion and the hiring of former “Breaking Bad” executives Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg.
Apple CEO Tim Cook does not want gratuitous sex and violence in Apple’s upcoming video content, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Over a year ago Cook previewed Apple’s first drama “Vital Signs,” a six-part semi-autobiographical series about hip hop star Dr. Dre, which began shooting in 2016.
According to the Journal, Cook was shocked at scenes featuring cocaine consumption, an orgy, and guns being drawn. Cook reportedly told Apple Music executive Jimmy Iovine that the show was too violent, and could not be shown on Apple.
A release date for “Vital Signs” has been shrouded in mystery. Sources told Business Insider last year that the elements were being filmed again as Dre wasn’t satisfied with the product.
The Journal reports that Apple is pursuing a family-friendly content strategy for its move into television. The newspaper summed it up like this:
“Apple’s entertainment team must walk a line few in Hollywood would consider. Since Mr. Cook spiked ‘Vital Signs,’ Apple has made clear, say producers and agents, that it wants high-quality shows with stars and broad appeal, but it doesn’t want gratuitous sex, profanity or violence.”
In June 2017, it was reported that Apple poached Sony Pictures TV executives Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg, who spearheaded shows including “Breaking Bad” and “The Crown.” In August, it emerged that Apple was setting aside a budget of $US1 billion for original content.
Erlicht and Van Amburg have had moderate success in pitching slightly edgier content to Apple, with the Journal citing a series made by M. Night Shyamalan about a couple who lose a child. However, Apple reportedly insisted that all crucifixes be removed from the characters’ house, as it wants to steer clear of sensitive issues like religion and politics. Shyamalan was not available to comment.
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