John Oliver has a bone to pick with a Disney-owned streaming service that has been cutting jokes out of episodes it airs from “Last Week Tonight.”
The late-night host called out Hotstar, a streaming service that airs the program in India, on Sunday’s episode, accusing the company of “self-censoring” at least three episodes in recent months.
The host said an entire episode that criticized Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was prevented from airing on Hotstar. He also pointed out specific jokes which had been scrubbed from other episodes, including one about Donald Duck’s penis and another that joked about Mickey Mouse doing drugs.
“They cut out a joke about Mickey Mouse being a cocaine addict. Why would they do that? It’s hard to say. But it might be because Hotstar is owned by Disney and they seem extra sensitive to Disney references,” Oliver said.
The host also made fun of the questionable editing skills Hotstar used to scrub the jokes, like cutting the audio and zooming in on the host’s face in an attempt to censor this segment on China’s one-child policy.
“What’s worse is, it’s apparently not even the first time they have censored us,” Oliver continued. “We’ve discovered that they’ve been quietly doing it for a while now.”
The host issued one final word of warning to Hotstar.
“Let me say this to Hotstar right now,” he said. “If you think that you have to remove anything that reflects poorly on Disney from this show, I have some bad news for you, my friends. I’m f—ing Zazu right here. Everything that comes out of this beak is a Disney fact.”
A rep for Disney did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.
It has come to John Oliver's notice that Hotstar is censoring his show in India. pic.twitter.com/HqwfjMfxzX
— Deepanjana (@dpanjana) March 9, 2020