Hulu Rejected an Ad for a Church, Calling it ‘Religious Indoctrination’

A Texas church is seeking more information from Hulu after the streaming platform reportedly refused to air its commercial due to concerns about “religious indoctrination.” Hulen Street Church in Fort Worth claims that it followed Hulu’s rules for local advertisers but was still unable to promote its new Thursday night worship program on the streaming service.

“Hulu’s customer service said that the ad violated policies against ‘Religious Indoctrination due to asking viewer(s) to attend Thursday services,’” the church’s law firm, First Liberty Institute, explains in a demand letter to Hulu, which was sent Monday. The letter calls on Hulu to clarify its advertising rules, noting that a prohibition on or definition of “religious indoctrination” does not appear in publicly available advertising guidelines.

Hulu’s advertising guidelines do say that the streaming service reviews potentially controversial ads, including political ads, and rejects commercials that are offensive or discriminatory. “Religion and religious themed ads” are among those that “will be considered on a case-by-case basis,” Hulu’s guidelines explain, noting that a number of other types of ads are considered with the same level of sensitivity, including alcohol ads, sports betting ads and ads for “black magic” or astrology services.

First Liberty Institute attorney Jeremy Dys admitted that because Hulu is private, it’s free to reject ads.


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