The streaming service Hulu is a great place to catch up on all the television you missed throughout the week. I’ve had an account with them for ages now and I’ve binged a lot of good TV shows through the years, but also caught up on movies.
I pay enough so I don’t get commercials, though, because I’m not a fan.
A lot of people don’t. They get the commercials and don’t sweat it. Yet right now, those commercials are landing Hulu in some hot water.
You see, the service refused to run a couple of politically-focused ads.
Three Democratic Party committees on Monday protested the refusal of the streaming service Hulu to run several campaign ads denouncing Republican policies ahead of the 2022 midterm elections, with the Disney-owned company saying the content of the ads was too “sensitive” and “controversial.”
As The Washington Post reported, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC), the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), and the Democratic Governors Association (DGA) made attempted ad buys with the streaming service on July 15 for ads regarding gun control policy and abortion rights.
The ad focusing on gun control included statistics on gun violence and said, “Republicans are more devoted to the gun lobby than taking common-sense action to make our kids safe.”
The DSCC accused Hulu of imposing “shady” ad policies, which vaguely bar ads including “controversial” content.
Hulu told the committees after delaying the airing of the ads that there were “content related” issues, but did not explain the ultimate decision not to run them.
“Americans deserve to know the truth about these issues, and Hulu has no right to block it,” tweeted the DSCC Monday as it shared the ads on social media.
Wait, so, the very people who support Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube killing any right-leaning content they feel is too controversial or inappropriate in some way are upset because Hulu is saying they don’t want to cram controversial content down people’s throats?
I can’t help but feel like the issue isn’t so much that these Democratic Party entities are upset at the supposed censorship and more a case of they’re upset they are the ones impacted.
I mean, if the NRA tried to run a pro-gun ad and Hulu quashed it, I’m sure all these same people would be talking about how Hulu is a private company and can do what they want.
Which is true. They can.
And they’ve got very good reasons not to run controversial advertisements. After all, Hulu isn’t YouTube. You don’t just pop on the site and watch stuff to your heart’s content. No, Hulu requires payment. The lowest price is still ad-supported, but you’re still paying for it.
Now, how would these folks feel if they were paying $6.99 a month to be spoon-fed Republican talking points? They’d probably get upset and cancel their subscriptions, right?
Why would this side of the gun debate be any different?
Look, Hulu is upfront with the fact that they won’t run ads they consider controversial. No one is providing any evidence that they’re biased toward one side or another in that regard. Further, Hulu is owned by Disney, which has illustrated just how non-rightward they lean lately. This isn’t a politically-motivated decision, but a business decision.
And they are fully justified in making that decision.
What these Democrat groups need to understand is that just because they think something matters, it doesn’t make it non-controversial. Especially when it depends so much on the distortion of reality.
Good on Hulu for making the right move. I’m sure a lot of your lower-tier subscribers are thankful they won’t be inundated with anti-Second Amendment nonsense while trying to watch reruns of Brooklyn Nine-Nine.