Earlier this year, Apple TV+ was reportedly beginning to create a series called Scraper, referring to Gawker Media, an American media outlet that has had several disputes with Apple. Now, The New York Times have reported that Apple TV+ scrapped the show after CEO Tim Cook found out about the project.
The series was launched by two former Gawker employees, Max Read and Cord Jefferson. Apple even hired two more former Gawker editors, Emma Carmichael and Leah Beckmann, as writers, and had completed several episodes of the series but development of the show took Cook by surprise, The Times reported, and he expressed his disapproval of Gawker in an internal email.
Apple, but also Tim Cook personally, had several issues with Gawker Media in the past. In 2010, it was a site belonging to a group called Gizmodo, which had revealed the iPhone 4 two months in advance, after having paid $5,000 to take possession of a model that had been lost in a bar by an unfortunate employee. Then the former Apple CEO Steve Jobs was said to have personally begged to get the prototype back. It also led to the police conducting a search of one of the editors.
Furthermore, the Gawker blogs revealed that Tim Cook was gay six years before disclosing it himself in an article in 2014. Ultimately, the blog network went bankrupt in 2016 due to a $140 million claim following the disclosure of a Hulk Hogan sextape.
This isn’t the first time Tim Cook has banned projects on Apple TV +. In 2018, according to the Wall Street Journal, he closed a biopic about rapper Dr. Dre: There was too much violence and nudity in the movie.
In addition, the company asked the director M. Night Shyamalan to remove the crucifixes from the walls in the TV series “House with Servants” because the company wants the TV service to be for the whole family and to convey positive values.
According to The New York Times, Eddy Cue – Apple’s Senior Vice President, Internet Software and Services of Apple TV + said, “the two things we will never do are hard-core nudity and China,” Another thing Cue thinks you’ll never see is damaged phones.
Gawker Media was subject to a series of lawsuits which were secretively backed by PayPal co-founder and billionaire Peter Thiel, who was also outed as gay, by one of the publications which led to its demise. Today, the remainder of Gawker media is owned Univision though the parent Gawker brand is deal but led by its oldest blog, Gizmodo.