- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 28, 2022

Disney says it will now allow political issue ads on its Hulu streaming service after Democrats berated the company for blocking ads about abortion and guns ahead of the November elections.

Disney said its new policy is in line with the one it deploys on cable networks like ESPN and FX.

The decision was confirmed to Axios shortly after Democratic groups railed against the company. Restrictions on ads about abortion and guns miffed the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and the Democratic Governors Association. 

They had demanded early this week that Hulu change its approach.

“Hulu’s censorship of the truth is outrageous and offensive,” the DCCC tweeted Monday. “Voters have the right to know the facts about MAGA Republicans’ extreme agenda on abortion — Hulu is doing a disservice to the American people.”

Disney is the majority owner of the streaming service and said it wants to make sure its policies are consistent.

SEE ALSO: Democrats hammer Hulu for censorship after it restricts political ads on guns, abortion

“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. “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.”

Rep. Tim Ryan, who is the Democratic nominee in the U.S. Senate race in Ohio, credited his party with forcing the policy change at Hulu.

“After major backlash from Democrats, Hulu JUST announced that they’ll run political ads on the issues voters care about most like defending our democracy from insurrectionists and protecting the right to an abortion,” he said in a campaign fundraising email. “This is great news for our campaign and I’m super excited to get these ads up on the platform.

The standard at Hulu is a different one than those on Disney’s broadcast network, ABC, because broadcasters are required to accept ads from candidates on any topic.

Disney told Axios it won’t accept political ads or alcohol-related advertising when it launches an ad-funded tier for Disney+ because they want to keep it suitable for children.

• Ryan Lovelace and S.A. Miller contributed to this report.

• Tom Howell Jr. can be reached at thowell@washingtontimes.com.

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