Welcome once again to the annoying intersection of politics and pop culture. As we know, Apple has been hard at work developing original content for their upcoming streaming platform Apple TV+. They have put in a lot of money, time, and talent into the shows on this platform, so they need it to succeed. Well, apparently, Apple really is going the extra mile to ensure that they are successful.
According to Buzzfeed News, Apple has guided creators of some shows away from portraying China in a poor light, so that they may stay in the country’s good graces. This came in early 2018 following the 2016 incident which saw Beijing nix iBooks and iTunes Movies.
Of course, this isn’t anything new. Over the past 15 years or so, we’ve seen Hollywood try their best to cater to China, as it is a huge market for them to try and tap into. However, in the midst of reported human rights violations and the politics surrounding them and the Hong Kong protests, this is becoming a bigger deal.
Plus, this news comes immediately following reports that state Apple removed an app from their app store that Hong Kong rioters used to track police movements.
“We just get a phone call from Apple and they say ‘We just got a call from the Chinese government’ and five minutes later our app is off the App Store,” one US technology executive told the outlet. “It’s not a line of communication that would be open to any discussion. They have so much market power in general and they wield that pretty indiscriminately.”
While I personally don’t think there is anything wrong with catering your story so that the cultural sensibilities match that of the market, I think it’s something else altogether to create content that is created to specifically not piss off a country or hint that it is doing anything wrong (especially when so many signs point to the opposite).
This, admittedly comes as no surprise. Being a tech giant, Apple has dealt with these moral quandaries before in the past, but even in their short tenure in entertainment, they have garnered a track record for being too controlling of creatives. In previous reports from months back, creatives were reportedly upset at how much execs would intervene in their process, and even supposedly directed creators from creating bad stories about technology.
What do you think about all this? Do you see where Apple is coming from or do you find their lack of a moral center a bit demoralizing? Let us know down below!
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SOURCE: Buzzfeed News