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Politics Disney Backs Down Over Political Ads After Hulu Boycott Threat

06:40  15 august  2022
06:40  15 august  2022 Source:   newsweek.com

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Disney has reversed its decision to allow political ads on its Hulu streaming service after it refused to air adverts featuring key Democratic issues.

In this photo illustration, the Hulu media service provider's logo is displayed on the screen of an iPhone in front of the screen of a television showing the Hulu logo on March 28, 2020 in Paris, France. © Chesnot/Getty Images In this photo illustration, the Hulu media service provider's logo is displayed on the screen of an iPhone in front of the screen of a television showing the Hulu logo on March 28, 2020 in Paris, France.

Hulu was criticized after Democratic groups and figures had their ads which touched on abortion rights and gun control rejected from the streaming service, which does not have to abide to the same regulatory rules as television with regards to airing political ads.

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The backlash over reports that the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and the Democratic Governors Association had their ads rejected saw hashtags #BoycottHulu and #CancelHulu trend on social media.

Disney has now confirmed it will allow ads featuring key political issues, as well as candidates ads, on the Hulu streaming service, reported Axios.

"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.

"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."

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Hulu said that it will now allow political issue ads to run on the platform, but will still reserve the rights to ask for edits or amendments to suit its standards and policies.

The three Democratic groups said they tried to purchase ads which highlighted the GOP's stance on abortion and guns with Hulu on July 15, as well as the Disney-affiliated ABC affiliate in Philadelphia and the company's sports channel ESPN, with the ads only not airing on Hulu.

In a joint statement to The Washington Post, the executive directors of the three committees, Christie Roberts, Tim Persico and Noam Lee, described Hulu's "censorship of the truth" as "outrageous, offensive, and another step down a dangerous path for our country."

"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," the statement said.

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Hulu has been contacted for comment.

Suraj Patel, a Democrat running for Congress in New York's 12th district, also wrote a letter of complaint to Disney CEO Bob Chapek and Hulu President Joe Earley claiming he was told there was an "unwritten Hulu policy" which stopped the service from running ads deemed "sensitive."

Patel's ads discussed the Republican Party's views on abortion, gun violence, climate change and also showed footage of the January 6, 2021 attack at the Capitol.

"Imagine not being able to mention 9/11 after the terrorist attack in the 2002 election," Patel wrote. "Our ability to mobilize voters leads to outcomes that are more representative of the will of the people. Your ban on mobilization messaging has a perverse effect on Democracy."

Disney has already confirmed that it will not allow political ads or ads for alcohol on Disney+, home to its extensive catalog of family friendly movies and programming, when the ad-supported version of the streaming service launches later this year.

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