Media columnist Ben Smith of the New York Times tends to break news in his weekly column, and the latest is no exception. Smith writes that Apple CEO Tim Cook personally killed a prospective show about the now-defunct Gawker Media that was in the works for Apple TV Plus. The decision is a little dicey because Gawker famously outed Cook as gay back in 2008 (and more definitively in 2011), before Cook publicly announced his sexuality. Also, the Gawker universe once got its hands on a misplaced iPhone in 2010 and wrote all about it, much to the consternation of Steve Jobs. Flash forward to 2020, and Cook is using his influence to put the kibosh on a show that was to be called Scraper, and was being written by former Gawker editors.
Smith is not happy with this. "(F)rom beyond the grave, Gawker is revealing another reality in this era of media consolidation: that the chief executive of one of the biggest companies in the world, who testifies before Congress and negotiates with China, also decides what television shows get made." Or as Sarah Rumpf at Mediaite puts it, Smith's scoop "raises questions about the influence that Big Tech has on media." It's possible the show will end up on another network. Apple is not commenting on the report. Read Smith's full column. (Read more Tim Cook stories.)