Samuel Case, FISM News
Disney-owned streaming service, Hulu, reversed its long-held policy barring issue-driven advertisements following backlash from Democrats whose ads were blocked on the platform.
“After a thorough review of ad policies across its linear networks and streaming platforms over the last few months, Disney is now aligning Hulu’s political advertising policies to be consistent with the company’s general entertainment and sports cable networks and ESPN+,” Disney said in a statement to Axios.
“Hulu will now accept candidate and issue advertisements covering a wide spectrum of policy positions, but reserves the right to request edits or alternative creative, in alignment with industry standards.”
According to Axios, Hulu’s policy barring political issues had been in place for years, although the policy did allow for candidate ads.
The reversal comes as the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and Democratic Governors Association, attempted on July 15 to buy joint ads concerning abortion and guns to run on Hulu, a local ABC affiliate, and ESPN, all of which are owned by Disney, per a Washington Post report.
The ads ran on ABC and ESPN but were blocked on Hulu, due to the company’s policy barring advertisements focused on controversial topics.
Unlike broadcast networks, which are required by law to accept political ads regardless of the topic, steaming services are free to reject ads as they please.
“Hulu’s censorship of the truth is outrageous, offensive, and another step down a dangerous path for our country,” the executive directors of the Democrat committees said in a statement to the Post.
“Voters have the right to know the facts about MAGA Republicans’ agenda on issues like abortion — and Hulu is doing a huge disservice to the American people by blocking voters from learning the truth about the GOP record or denying these issues from even being discussed.”
Similarly, Senate Democrats railed against Hulu on Twitter, saying “their shady policies amount to outrageous political censorship.”
Issie Lapowsky, a correspondent for tech website Protocol, pointed out the Democrats’ hypocrisy on the issue of censorship.
Agree it's really is wild to see Dems arguing that Hulu had "no right" to block abortion ads, when they have argued in other contexts (see: hate speech, election denial) that platforms have every right.
You can push for policy change without completely contradicting yourself. https://t.co/5cGTkdA8Uo
— issie lapowsky (@issielapowsky) July 27, 2022
The policy change is just the latest instance in what has become a trend of Disney caving-in to left-wing political pressure.
In March, Disney came out against the Florida Parental Rights in Education Act, which was smeared by Democrats and parroted by legacy media outlets as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, even though the language of the law does not include the word “gay” and prevents the teaching of sexuality of any kind to students younger than third grade.