Back in early 2016, it was revealed that hip-hop luminary Dr. Dre would produce and star in Apple’s first original scripted television series. Titled Vital Signs, the show was billed as a semi-autobiographical look into the rapper’s life in and outside of the music industry. It was also meant to help Apple Music spearhead its own original content and, the company hoped, to compete with the likes of Netflix, Hulu and Amazon.
According to a new report in the Wall Street Journal, however, it seems the company has axed Vital Signs over concerns about its content. Specifically, the report claims, Apple CEO Tim Cook thinks Dre’s series is “too violent” and shouldn’t be viewed by Apple customers:
[Cook] was troubled by what he saw. The show, a dark, semi-biographical tale of hip hop artist Dr. Dre, featured characters doing lines of cocaine, an extended orgy in a mansion and drawn guns.
It’s too violent, Mr. Cook told Apple Music executive Jimmy Iovine, said people familiar with Apple’s entertainment plans. Apple can’t show this.
As Entertainment Weekly rightly notes, such content wouldn’t be a problem for HBO, Showtime and other premium cable outlets — or, for that matter, most streaming platforms. This means that, should the WSJ report be accurate in saying Cook and company don’t want to produce and distribute similarly adult content, then Apple Music’s other in-production original series may have trouble competing with the typical strain of prestige television that currently dominates the landscape.
(Via Wall Street Journal)