Hotstar streams John Oliver's criticism of Disney-owned platform, as episode on Narendra Modi remains unavailable
John Oliver previously on Last Week Tonight pointed out that an episode from 2019, where he had joked about Disney, was edited out by Hotstar in India.
Hotstar's move to 'self-censor' British-American satirist John Oliver's show Last Week Tonight has taken a strange turn. In a recent development to the controversy related to Hotstar debunking an episode related to criticism of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a Twitter user points out the streaming platform has now completely blocked the said episode.
However, it instead chooses to air the particular segment where Oilver had addressed the 'block,' and slammed Disney-owned Indian streaming platform Hotstar for heavily editing out content from his three episodes.
The Emmy-winning show generally airs at 6 am each Tuesday in India. However, when subscribers logged in to the platform on 25 February, only older episodes were visible. Twitter also points though the total episodes under season seven are numbered correctly, it still does not air the second episode.
This is how strange things are - Hotstar has put up the episode criticising itself (in full), but not the episode criticising this government and Modi. https://t.co/bWXu7aMOIl
— aarthi parthasarathy (@aarthipartha) March 11, 2020
Season 7 of @LastWeekTonight on @hotstartweets - Episodes numbered correctly in the list. The total under Seasons indicates that they do not intend to ever upload E2. pic.twitter.com/7Xlt63QSdo — aarthi parthasarathy (@aarthipartha) March 11, 2020
Oliver had been quite vocal of his criticism in the episode, calling Modi "a man for whom (US President Donald) Trump seems to have a great deal of affection," also stating the prime minister has become "one of the most divisive figures in India".
In his latest segment to address the 'self-censorship' issue, the host pointed out that an episode from 2019, where he had joked about Disney, was edited by Hotstar in India. "What's worse is, it's apparently not even the first time they have censored us. We've discovered that they've been quietly doing it for a while now but not for the reason that you might expect," Oliver continued, and spoke about Disney's acquisition.
Hotstar became a Disney property in 2017 as part of its acquisition of Fox Studios, which also included the entire Star India group. The company has now confirmed Disney+ streaming service will make its debut in India on 29 March.
Now, ahead of the launch, Hotstar has been rebranded to Disney+ Hotstar. On Wednesday, along with the new branding, Disney+ Hotstar has also received movies such as Captain America: Civil War, Atlantis: The Lost Empire, Doctor Strange, Cars 3, and A Bug's Life, and TV shows including Gravity Falls, Timon & Pumbaa, Disney The Lion Guard, Mickey Mouse (Shorts), Doc McStuffins, and Tangled: The Series.
Vijay Sethupathi currently has 25+ films in his kitty, including Laabam that released in theatres last week, Tughlaq Darbar that released on Netflix India this past weekend, and Annabelle Sethupathi, that will release this Friday (17 September) on Disney+ Hotstar Multiplex.
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