Why Did Hulu Reject This Rape Survivor’s Political Ad?

Amanda was enjoying her daily run when she was attacked and raped. Afterwards, she went to the hospital where she was immediately offered emergency contraception. In the video below, she shares her story in an ad paid for by the No On 67 campaign, and explains that she opposes Colorado’s personhood ballot measure—Amendment 67—because it would ban the use of emergency contraception, such as Plan B, and all abortions in the state, with no exceptions for rape or incest.

Seems pretty straightforward, right?

Well, not to the advertising team at Hulu. No On 67 submitted the video to the ad-supported streaming network—which has been running plenty of election-related ads in recent months—but was turned down.

In an email, Hulu account manager Erin explained that the ad was rejected because, “According to our advertising bylaws we are unable to accept ‘Ads that advocate a controversial political or other public position’ which unfortunately [the No On 67 campaign] falls under due to the subject matter of abortion.”

Hulu had not responded to our requests for comment by press time, and it’s unclear if pro-67 ads have been allowed to run. However, the network hasn’t been shy about other political ads, reportedly allowing spots attacking the Affordable Care Act to run.

Amendment 67 asks voters:

Shall there be an amendment to the Colorado constitution protecting pregnant women and unborn children by defining ‘person’ and ‘child’ in the Colorado criminal code and the Colorado wrongful death act to include unborn human beings?

If passed, it could ban abortion, emergency contraception and many forms of birth control, and could also criminalize women who have miscarriages.

Coloradans have twice rejected similar measures—and we hope they’ll do the same in this election. In the meantime, use the hashtag #HuluLetHerSpeak and sign Progress Now’s petition demanding Hulu allow Amanda’s story on their network.

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Stephanie hails from Toronto, Canada. She is a Ms. writer, a master of journalism candidate and a hip hop dancer/instructor/choreographer. She got her start in feminist journalism at the age of 16 when she was a member of the first editorial collective at Shameless magazine—and she has never looked back.