Apple wants its piece of Hollywood to be exclusively G-rated.
The gadget giant is insisting the films and TV shows it bankrolls avoid gratuitous sex, profanity and violence — a prim policy that has its employees tagging Apple’s new video service “expensive NBC,” according to a report.
Chief Executive Tim Cook set the tone more than a year ago when he rejected a show based on the life of hip-hop legend Dr. Dre before Apple made him and partner Jimmy Iovine billionaires by buying Beats Electronics for $3 billion in 2014.
“Vital Signs,” Apple’s first scripted drama, featured Dr. Dre’s character “doing lines of cocaine, an extended orgy in a mansion and drawn guns,” according to a Wall Street Journal report.
The rejection left Hollywood wondering if Apple’s self-imposed constraints will hinder the company’s participation in what the report called “an entertainment land grab.”
Apple, Amazon and Facebook are pursuing video opportunities to strengthen customer relationships, while traditional video providers are bulking up to keep interlopers at bay.
The upshot has been a two-thirds increase in scripted shows — to 487 last year, according to the report.
Apple is so far a bit player, having purchased about a dozen shows and is developing two dozen more, most of which are family friendly in the style of “Friday Night Lights.”
Producers have doubts about such safe programming, despite Apple’s dangling $1 billion in front of them.
After expressing interest in a show about #MeToo, the report said, Apple had so many second thoughts that “the show is now in talks to end up at Amazon.”
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