Back in 2014, Apple made the rap titan and extremely rich man Dr. Dre even richer. That’s when the tech megalith bought Beats, the headphones company that Dre co-founded, for $3 billion. And it seems as though Dre and Apple have had a strong relationship ever since. But it turns out that Apple will no longer be underwriting Dre’s attempt at TV stardom.
Right now, Apple is planning on launching its own streaming service, which will compete with things like Netflix and Amazon Prime. The company has been buying up expensive projects, most notably a show that’s set to star Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston.
In 2016, Apple announced that one of those shows would be Vital Signs, a six-episode limited series that would star Dre. Dre was also set to executive produce the show, which would be vaguely autobiographical. Paul Hunter, once a big-name music video director, would helm all of the episodes, and each episode would tackle a different emotion. But now it’s not happening.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Apple CEO Tim Cook personally made the call to shut the show down. The problem was that the show featured possibly-objectionable material like “characters doing lines of cocaine, an extended orgy in a mansion, and drawn guns.” None of this should be surprising to Apple, but Cook has apparently decided that the Apple streaming service will be more family-friendly and that it will steer away from “gratuitous sex, profanity or violence.”
Dre isn’t the only one affected by this decision. Apple has also killed plans for a #MeToo-themed show from Whitney Cummings, and a new show from M. Night Shyamalan has had to water down some of its religious themes. None of this is exactly making me confident about Apple’s forthcoming streaming service.
We have already seen from the success of Straight Outta Compton that Dr. Dre’s life story can really hit a nerve with people. But I’m not sure anyone was exactly clamoring for the return of Dr. Dre’s acting career. Unless we’re counting commercials or cameos in Eminem videos, Dre hasn’t acted since the 2003 meta-comedy Pauly Shore Is Dead. The highlight of his acting career is probably the extended cameo from 2001’s Training Day that might be the worst thing about the movie.