Reps heading a special committee of the U.S. House of Representatives are questioning Apple CEO Tim Cook about whether the tech giant’s decision to cancel Jon Stewart‘s Apple TV+ talk show was because the host may have been planning an upcoming episode about China.

“While companies have the right to determine what content is appropriate for their streaming service, the coercive tactics of a foreign power should not be directly or indirectly influencing these determinations,” the leaders of the House of Representatives’ Select Committee on Competition with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) wrote in the letter to Cook, released Wednesday.

News that “The Problem With Jon Stewart,” from the former “Daily Show” host, would not return for a third season on Apple TV+ came out in October. Per the New York Times, Stewart told staff members that possible upcoming topics for the show including China and artificial intelligence “were causing concern among Apple executives.”

The letter to Cook, signed by committee chair Rep. Michael Gallagher (R-Wisc.) and Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.), the panel’s ranking Democrat, said, “If these reports are accurate, it potentially speaks to broader concerns about indirect Chinese Communist Party (CCP) influence over the creative expression of American artists and companies on CCP-related topics. It also highlights an additional reason, beyond the traditionally cited national security rationales, why we encourage Apple to accelerate its efforts to reduce its dependence on the PRC in its core business.”

The reps asked rhetorically, “If Jon Stewart can potentially be impeded from offering commentary on the CCP, what does this mean for less prominent personalities? While there is a chance that a high-profile individual like Jon Stewart can locate another streaming service where he can express his views on PRC-related matters, an aspiring comedian who wants to use satire to make broader points about human rights and authoritarianism faces even bleaker prospects. Respectfully, we believe that this needs to change and responsible creative professionals should be able to freely write and perform on PRC-related topics.”

Apple did not respond to a request for comment on the letter. The House reps’ letter requested a briefing from Apple on the matter by Dec. 15. A copy of the letter is available at this link.

The letter added, “To reassure the creative community in light of these reports, we also respectfully request that Apple publicly commit that content that could be perceived as critical of the CCP or the PRC is welcome on Apple TV+ and other Apple services.”

“The Problem With Jon Stewart” debuted in 2021 on Apple TV+ as part of a multiyear first-look deal Stewart signed with Apple. Season 1 of the show aired episodes every two weeks, while the second season switched to a weekly format. The one-hour series explored a single topic with each episode, with each topic being part of current national events as well as Stewart’s advocacy work. Topics had included racism, globalization, the media, climate change, mass incarceration and gun control.

Stewart’s show for Apple TV+ marked his first TV project to make it to air since he departed Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” in 2015. He had previously set up a deal at HBO under which he planned to create a topical short-form animated series among other projects, though that was ultimately scrapped.