Comedian and television host John Oliver has reacted to Indian streamer Hotstar censoring his show, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. Hotstar did not make a recent episode of the satirical news programme, in which Oliver made comments about Prime Minister Narendra Modi, available to Indian subscribers.
In the latest episode, Oliver made references to the incident, and suggested the fact that Hotstar is owned by Disney might have something to do with the streamer's self-censorship in India. Citing examples of how jokes about Disney characters Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse were 'seamlessly' edited out of old episodes, Oliver said, "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."
Disney in a multi-billion dollar deal in 2019 bought Fox and all its assets, including Star India and Hotstar. Oliver ended his segment with a direct message to Hotstar. 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 am f**king Zazu right here. Everything that comes out of this beak is a 'Disney Fact.'" Oliver voiced Zazu in the recent remake of Disney's The Lion King.
He continued, "If I say that Cogsworth collects Nazi memorabilia, guess what? That's canon, baby. That's a 'Disney f**king Fact' right there. And for the foreseeable future, Hotstar, you can look forward to learning a lot more of them on this show because we're going to be sliding them into our stories like Chip and Dale slid into Richard Gere. That's right — 'Disney Fact,' m********ers."
Oliver also spoke about TV anchor Arnab Goswami referring to him as 'an ignoramus of global proportions'.