Apple is Accused of Censorship Again in the TV+ Department

Jess Weatherbed, reporting for The Verge on the terse words Robert De Niro had for Apple after part of his acceptance speech for the Gotham Awards was removed last minute:

Robert De Niro slammed Apple and the Gotham Film & Media Institute this week after claiming his speech for the Gotham Awards had been censored — allegedly by an Apple employee just minutes before the show started, according to Variety’s sources — to remove criticisms about Donald Trump and the entertainment industry.

Weatherbed goes on to say that a source claims this was a miscommunication and they didn’t know De Niro hadn’t approved the final draft. Either way, this is an unfortunate smear on the record for Apple and its high-profile Killers of the Flower Moon film. It’s not a good look, especially after similar censorship rumors continue to float around Jon Stewart’s show cancelation.

When a member of the cast or crew accepts an award on behalf of the rest of the studio, I do think that the studio should get some input on the acceptance speech to make sure it reflects the values they hold. But it should be a joint effort, and it’s certainly no compromise if the copy is edited last-minute without the knowledge or approval of the person actually making the speech.

Our concern that Apple executives would be overly involved in the creative production of Apple TV+ shows and films essentially dried up when we saw how adult” their first releases were. It seemed like they trusted their creative partners to tell compelling stories without corporate oversight. I don’t know if that trust is eroding, or Apple is becoming more cautious as a company, but I fear that with these allegations flying around, talent and production partners are going to think twice about signing on with them.

Go watch De Niro’s speech in full.


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