Hulu has reversed course and will now air “controversial” political advertisements, following severe backlash from Democrat campaign organizations.
The Disney-owned streaming platform originally had a policy of refusing any ad “that takes a position on a controversial issue of public importance (e.g. social issues),” but was met with a firestorm on social media after Democrat campaign organizations called them out for denying midterm ads focused on abortion and gun control.
On Tuesday, the executive directors of the Democratic Governors Association, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee called Hulu out.
Americans deserve the truth about Republicans’ dangerously out-of-touch agenda on abortion.
— DCCC (@dccc) July 26, 2022
— Senate Democrats (@dscc) July 25, 2022
The Senate Democrats tweeted that they are calling on Hulu “to reverse this policy that is blocking Americans from getting information about some of the most critical issues in this midterm election.”
“Hulu’s censorship of the truth is 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 organizations said in a joint statement to the Washington Post.
The following day, Hulu announced the policy change.
“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+,” the company said in a statement on Wednesday. “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.”
Disney has become increasingly political, recently making headlines for loud opposition to Florida’s Parental Rights in Education law and suspending political donations in the state. In turn, the company announced that they will support organizations working to oppose the law.
The law in question prohibits the teaching of gender identity or sexual orientation to students in third grade and below.
In response, Florida passed legislation that would end Disney’s tax privilege and self-governing power over the Reedy Creek Improvement District.
“I was shocked to see some of the stuff that’s in there. They can do their own nuclear power plant. Is there any other private company in the state that can just build a nuclear power plant on their own?” Governor Ron DeSantis said during a press conference last month. “They’re able to do certain things that nobody else is able to do. So I think they’re right to be looking at this and reevaluating and having an even playing field for everybody, I think is much better than basically to allow one company to be a law onto itself.”