Hulu pulls Astroworld news special amid social media backlash

The service says it did so 'to avoid confusion.'

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HOUSTON, TX - NOVEMBER 07: Letters, candles and flowers are seen outside of the canceled Astroworld festival at NRG Park on November 7, 2021 in Houston, Texas. According to authorities, eight people died and 17 people were transported to local hospitals after what was described as a crowd surge at the Astroworld festival, a music festival started by Houston-native rapper and musician Travis Scott in 2018. (Photo by Alex Bierens de Haan/Getty Images)
Alex Bierens de Haan via Getty Images

On Thursday, Hulu pulled Astroworld: Concert From Hell, an ABC special many mistook as a documentary on the recent Travis Scott festival that killed 10 people on November 5th, just one day after its debut on the platform. Shortly after its release, Astroworld started to trend on Twitter, with many assuming the special was commissioned by the streaming service.

“Hulu making a documentary about Astroworld is in poor taste all around,” says one of the more popular tweets on the subject. “Great documentaries are done when all the facts are laid out. Not enough time has passed to fully discuss this.”

Hulu pulled Concert From Hell following the social media backlash. The special was produced by KTRK-TV, ABC’s local Houston affiliate. You can still watch it on ABC13’s website. It includes early interviews and clips filmed following the immediate aftermath of the festival. Disney owns both ABC and Hulu, which is why many news specials end up on the streaming platform.

“[Astroworld: Concert From Hell] was an investigative local news special from ABC13/KTRK-TV in Houston that originally aired on November 20th,” a spokesperson for Hulu told Engadget. “This was not a Hulu documentary and has since been removed to avoid confusion.”

Amid more than 250 lawsuits, Scott recently offered to pay the funeral costs of the 10 victims who died at the concert. According to Rolling Stone, half of the bereaved families rejected the offer, including the kin of nine-year-old Ezra Blount, the youngest of the 10 individuals who died when the crowd of 50,000 at the festival surged forward to get closer to Scott.

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