Democratic campaign groups are slamming the Disney-owned streaming service Hulu for what they say is its refusal to run ads on the crucial midterm election issues of abortion and gun safety.
The streaming service did not run ads submitted last week by the Democratic campaign groups and has failed to give the groups a clear reason, according to a national Democratic Party official.
The platform’s rejection of the ads was first reported by The Washington Post.
In a joint statement, the executive directors of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC), Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) and the Democratic Governors Association (DGA) said Hulu’s “censorship of 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,” they said.
The DSCC, DCCC and DGA on July 15 submitted ads about the GOP’s record on abortion and gun safety laws to Hulu as well as a Disney-owned ABC affiliate in Philadelphia and the company’s sports channel ESPN. Placement for the ads was also on Facebook, YouTube, Roku and NBCUniversal, according to the national Democratic Party official.
A few days later, the ads went live across Facebook, YouTube, Roku, NBC, and broadcast and cable TV but not on Hulu, without any additional information from the service about whether the ad had been approved. When they asked for clarification, the Democrats’ vendors were told it was “content related,” according to the party official.
The committees say they did not get an answer from Hulu throughout the last week and calls and emails from a lawyer for the committees to Hulu went unanswered. On Thursday, Hulu said it would accept the ad but followed up to say the message had been sent in error, according to the national Democratic Party official.
A spokesperson for Hulu did not respond to a request for comment from The Hill.
The company also declined to comment to the Post through a spokesperson. A person familiar with Hulu’s policy who requested anonymity told the Post the company does not publicly disclose its advertising guidelines, but it prohibits advertising that takes a position on a controversial issue regardless of whether it is a political ad.
The person told the Post that the ads are reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
This is not the first time Democrats have run into the issue of Hulu rejecting ads about abortion.
Rep. Carolyn Bourdeaux (D-Ga.) slammed the platform in May for rejecting her ad about the issue.
Hulu also rejected an ad from New York Democratic congressional candidate Suraj Patel that mentioned abortion rights, Jezebel reported. The platform reportedly asked the campaign to remove at least one of three “sensitive” issues mentioned, including abortion, climate change and gun laws.
BY REBECCA KLAR