Hotstar is facing a backlash as users of the video streaming service are leaving negative reviews for its app on the Google Play Store. The reason for that is because of the company’s decision to not upload the latest episode of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. Some of the reviews clearly mention the reason for giving a 1-star rating while others talk about freedom of speech, the Indian government, PM Modi and so on. Similar reviews are making their way to the Apple App Store as well.
Now to put things into perspective, Last Week Tonight With John Oliver is a satire talk show which mostly focuses on news and has won 16 Emmys ever since it premiered in April 2014 on HBO. In its last episode, Oliver spoke about US President Donald Trump’s ongoing visit to India and various topics including PM Modi, the ongoing CAA and NRC protests, and certain other policies of the Indian government. It is notable that the entire segment from the episode is available for free on YouTube.
While Hotstar hasn’t given a reason for not uploading the latest episode, certain reports have cited government sources saying there was no complaint since the Internet is not subject to the same guidelines as imposed on TV channels. This isn’t the first time Hotstar has been accused of self-censorship by its audience. The streaming service had cut out jokes pointed at Disney, the current owner of Hotstar, from the same show back in November 2019.