Hulu

With midterm elections right around the corner, Democratic organizations and candidates just scored a major win…over Hulu.

According to Axios, Disney confirmed on Wednesday that the company would start accepting “political issue advertisements” on the popular streaming service. 

The move comes after Disney, which owns Hulu, faced heavy pressure from Democratic organizations over its “unwritten” policies. Due to these policies, Hulu would not air certain political ads that mentioned major issues for Dems such as climate change, guns, or abortion. While Hulu would not run these ads, the same advertisements ran on other Disney media properties such as the sports cable network ESPN and local ABC affiliate stations.

Hulu is now doing an about-face on these policies, saying it will run “political issue” ads, much like it does on other Disney-owned cable networks. However, the ads must still abide by Disney’s “general ad standards,” meaning the company may still ask for edits to ads based on those standards. Also, as Axios points out, Hulu does not have to abide by laws that require broadcast networks, like ABC and its local affiliates, to accept most any political advertisement.

Over the past few weeks, Disney and Hulu have been criticized for turning down a joint advertising campaign from three Democratic organizations. One congressional candidate from New York, Suraj Patel, shared that the streamer made his campaign edit out a video of the pro-Trump mob rioting at the Capitol building on Jan. 6 before approving it.

Issues like abortion rights and gun control have now taken center stage after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and amid a slew of deadly mass shootings across the country. These are issues that the Democratic Party hope will fire up its base and encourage turnout in November, which certainly explains why these organizations and candidates were quick to hit Hulu for its political advertising policies.

UPDATE: Jul. 27, 2022, 1:24 p.m. EDT In response to this article, Disney has provided Mashable with the following statement:

“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+,” said a Disney spokesperson in an email to Mashable. “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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