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Disney India blocks John Oliver show critical of Modi

  • Published at 03:33 pm February 27th, 2020
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British comedian John Oliver Facebook

When subscribers logged in on February 25, they could only find older episodes, Bloomberg reported

Disney India has blocked an episode of English-American writer and comedian John Oliver’s HBO series “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” that criticized Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on video streaming platform Hotstar, the local platform run by Walt Disney Co.

The comedian was previewing the US President Donald Trump’s visit to India on his Emmy-winning “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver,” which typically airs at 6am local time each Tuesday in the south Asian nation. 

When subscribers logged in on February 25, they could only find older episodes, Bloomberg reported.

Walt Disney had acquired Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox Inc in a $71 billion cash and stock deal in June 2018. That makes Star India, Fox Star Studios and Hotstar in India, a part of Walt Disney.

The incident is the latest to show how multinational businesses have to deal carefully in nations run by leaders often perceived as authoritarian. Trump’s visit to India comes amid protests against a new religion-based citizenship law, which erupted in violence hours before Trump landed in the national capital.

The violence erupted between thousands demonstrating for and against the new legislation passed by Modi's Hindu nationalist government.

The Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) makes it easier for non-Muslims from some neighbouring Muslim-dominated countries to gain Indian citizenship.

Critics say the law is biased against Muslims and undermines India's secular constitution.