A recent episode of satirical cartoon South Park claimed Hollywood writers and producers were kowtowing to an extreme degree to the Chinese government to enable the distribution of their products to its 1.4 billion citizens.
Now a new report from Buzzfeed reveals this is exactly what Apple has been engaging in with Apple TV+.
Apple has been working on original TV programming for their Apple TV+ service, and according to Buzzfeed, Eddy Cue, Apple’s SVP of internet software and services, and Morgan Wandell, head of international content development told creators directly that they should avoid portraying China in a poor light.
This act was apparently motivated by China shutting down Apple’s iBooks Store and iTunes Movies in 2016.
Buzzfeed was able to collect a large number of occasions where Apple acted on the behest of China, including removing VPN apps from its Chinese store and removing the Taiwanese flag emoji from Hong Kong versions of iOS 13.
The sentiment is captured quite well by a tweet by Judd Apatow, an American filmmaker.
Apple Told Some Apple TV+ Show Developers Not To Anger China- 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. https://t.co/1sHGO18MxX
— Judd Apatow (@JuddApatow) October 12, 2019
With online services increasingly being our only source of information, it appears inappropriate that multi-national companies would secretly act as propagandists for repressive regimes to their western audiences. Do our readers agree? Let us know below.