Apple and Hollywood reportedly wrestling for control of streaming shows

Executives for the iPhone are being called "intrusive" as they are said to micro-manage upcoming Hollywood shows.

Ian Sherr Former Editor at Large / News
Ian Sherr (he/him/his) grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, so he's always had a connection to the tech world. At CNET, he wrote about Apple, Microsoft, VR, video games and internet troubles. Aside from writing, he tinkers with tech at home, is a longtime fencer -- the kind with swords -- and began woodworking during the pandemic.
Ian Sherr
2 min read

Apple's micro-manage-y ways have ruffled feathers in Hollywood.

James Martin/CNET

Apple's executives are often praised for sweating the details for a presentation or new product launch. But in Hollywood, they're seen as annoying.

That's the message from a New York Post story Sunday, relaying complaints from unnamed Hollywood agents and producers who say the iPhone maker is "difficult" to work with. As Apple ramps up its streaming video ambitions, investing $1 billion in programming, reports say one of the biggest points of contention is Apple's insistence on offering family-friendly programming.

"They want a positive view of technology," one producer who spoke to the New York Post said. Apple didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

The report is the latest sign of Apple's struggles to build its own streaming service to compete with the likes of Netflix, Hulu and Amazon. Apple hasn't shared much about its plans, but it has nabbed big-name deals with Oprah WinfreyReese WitherspoonM. Night Shyamalan and Steven Spielberg, among many others. The company also hired two top television executives to spearhead the effort. The company's expected to unveil its rumored video service on March 25 at its Cupertino, California, campus.

Apple isn't the only company that's struggled to find footing with the notoriously persnickety Hollywood world. Several years ago, Microsoft struggled with its own small screen ambitions. After hiring top CBS television executive Nancy Tellem, the company announced various projects, including a TV series based on the hit Halo video games. 

Halo's TV series spent more than half a decade in development, and Tellem eventually left Microsoft. Last year, the company said Halo is coming to Showtime. (Showtime, like CNET, is owned by CBS.) 

In Apple's case, this isn't the first time Hollywood executives have anonymously complained about the iPhone maker.

Last year, The Wall Street Journal wrote about Apple's attempts to protect its "pristine brand image" from shows that have "gratuitous sex, profanity or violence."