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According to Bloomberg, Apple had planned to celebrate the release of its first TV show last spring at a Hollywood hotel, when Cook canceled the party just “days before” for unknown reasons. Now it looks like we know why: The show had to be re-cut.
Carpool Karaoke was scheduled to be the first original series to premiere as part of Apple’s $1 billion investment in streaming video, and the unscripted singing series was apparently supposed to be “the opposite of edgy.” References to nudity, profanity, and violence were all apparently no-no’s, which turned out to be bad news for Cook: The celebrity guests Carpool Karaoke relies on are almost guaranteed to be popular for being “edgy” in one way or another—especially on a full episode of television with no script.
After shooting segments with Pharrell Williams, Britney Spears, Chelsea Handler, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jessica Alba, Blake Shelton, and the late Chester Bennington of Linkin Park, Cook apparently ordered they get re-cut to edit out profanity and “references to vaginal hygiene.”
The changes ended up delaying the release date, and the company ultimately launched Planet of the Apps, a “Shark Tank-like reality show for app developers,” instead in June. Carpool Karaoke premiered in August.
Christine Friar is a writer and editor in New York who focuses on streaming entertainment and internet culture. Her work has appeared in the Awl, the Fader, New York Magazine, Paper Magazine, Vogue, Elle, and more.