Why Hulu is Not Safe For Kids and Doesn’t Care

devious housemaids
On July 14th  I wrote this letter:

Dear Hulu,

Thank you so much for showing half-naked woman and violence toward women to my 7-year-old.
Imagine my surprise today – I decided to reactivate my Hulu Plus subscription so my son could watch The Cosby Show – as he sat there waiting patiently for his show to start, half-dressed sexy woman started walking across the screen, followed by images of them in various states of inappropriate dress, and then he saw a clearly dead or badly injured woman being dragged across the floor. BRAVO! That is EXACTLY what I was hoping for when I turned on The Cosby Show for a 7-year-old!
You may be young, and think WHO CARES? Well I care, and many other parents do too. We specifically choose platforms like Hulu and Netflix so that our children will not be subjected to the increasingly inappropriate content poured into their minds through television commercials.

It is unthinkable that Hulu programmers would not take the time to make sure that the commercials they are showing on their various programs are appropriate for the audiences watching them. There is no way that a commercial for Devious Maids (which by the way sounds like something I made up) is appropriate for the same audience that would watch a show like The Cosby’s. I can promise you if my parents saw that fly by when I was watching the show its first time around, that would be its last time too.
Do me a favor and get this email to someone who can actually address my concern. I am hoping to hear back. I will be posting this letter later this week on my blog, which has a fairly high readership and influence, I hope to say that Hulu’s response was satisfactory.
Sincerely,
Jen Kehl
Alright, so maybe I lied about my blog being highly influential. But they didn’t know that. I let it go a little too long, but I guess I was hoping I would hear back. The only response I got was the auto-reply that came after immediately sending this.
Hi,
Thanks for writing. We’re always interested in hearing from you, and
we’ll try to respond as quickly as possible. We can’t answer every
e-mail we receive, but we appreciate all the feedback. If you need any
technical support, we recommend scanning our Help Site first as it
includes the answers to many common questions. You can also contact
our Support team there to get further assistance, or pass along any
feedback. We also have some specific e-mail addresses set up to handle certain
issues. Using one of these e-mail addresses, when appropriate, will
get your note the proper attention more quickly.
* Technical support — support@hulu
* General feedback and suggestions — feedback@hulu
* Press inquiries — media@hulu
* Advertisers — advertisers@hulu
* Publisher sites / device partners  — distribution@hulu
Lastly, please be aware that it is Hulu’s policy not to accept
unsolicited submissions of any kind, including without limitation
scripts, story lines, treatments, outlines, articles, fan fiction,
characters, drawings, information, suggestions, ideas, and/or
concepts.  As stated in our Terms of Use which governs all use of the
Hulu.com website and communications to Hulu through this e-mail
address, Hulu’s policy is to delete any such submission without
reading or reviewing it. Therefore, any similarity between an
unsolicited submission and any elements in any Hulu creative work,
including a film, series, story, title, or concept, would be purely
coincidental.Thanks,

The Hulu Team

So, just incase you are thinking you are safe by sticking your kid in front of Hulu to watch some family friendly show while you wash the dishes. I would say, yeah…. no.  Hulu is not safe for kids if this is what they’re gonna see while you’re not there to jump in front of the screen like a wild woman, spread eagle, hoping to cover the whole screen while you know your kid is trying his darndest to see what it is you’re hiding from him!
  • I watched regular Hulu this past summer, because both of my ABC soaps had been moved over there, but never watched until the kids were asleep, but you are so right the commercials alone were the worst and definitely not age appropriate for young kids. I give you credit for trying to e-mail them, but seriously it is laughable how they think they can do this and not worry about our kids watching stuff like this. As much money as cable costs, I am thankful to have it and control what channels my kids do see. Kudos though Jen for sharing this and for trying to do something about it!ReplyCancel

    • Jennifer Kehl

      Thanks Janine! I know we’ll be sticking to DVD’s and Netflix now!ReplyCancel

  • I’d exhausted my Netflix movies the other day so looked on Hulu to see what they had… ummm…. mostly all borderline pornographic it looked like. So strange!ReplyCancel

  • I miss Blockbuster soooooo much!

    KWIM?ReplyCancel

    • Jennifer Kehl

      I know! But you know what? I do the library now instead!ReplyCancel

  • OMG that’s so weird and so awful 🙁
    I wonder what’s up with them?ReplyCancel

    • Jennifer Kehl

      They suck that’s what’s up with them!ReplyCancel

  • Well, that’s a standard enough “we don’t care who you are or what you think” response! Thanks for the warning.

    I took the time to email Walgreens about a concern in the past and got a similar auto-reply. They had the audacity to even send me a coupon to renew my prescription there, so imagine my delight in sending them an even nastier follow-up email that no one would read. Corporate crap drives me nuts!ReplyCancel

    • Jennifer Kehl

      I know Katy, isn’t it ridiculous?ReplyCancel

  • I can’t believe that. Well, actually, I can. It seems like programmers hardly care about age-appropriateness anymore. I miss the days of FCC regulation.ReplyCancel

    • Jennifer Kehl

      Bet you thought you’d never say that Natalie!ReplyCancel

  • YES to this. I have the same complaint about On Demand from Comcast. In the 30 seconds it takes my 7 yo to get her Disney show selected, we are shown the most disturbing images from the most violent movies around. ARGH. Kudos to you for writing a letter- maybe I will follow suit. Surely other parents are pissed off, too.ReplyCancel

  • That’s terrible! LIke Stephanie, I hate the inappropriate ads that run on the on-demand channel while I am queueing up my kids’ shows. I hope they respond to you!ReplyCancel

    • Jennifer Kehl

      Sarah I’m not holding my breath.ReplyCancel

  • You would think they match their programming to the audience. We do mainly Netflix for this very reason — no commercials! Good to know about Hulu. (And yes, you can claim you’re very influential! Made me think twice about Hulu.)ReplyCancel

  • I watch Hulu with my kid but I guess I never thought about the ads; she seems to come in mid-show or watches TV while doing something else. It would make sense to advertise like shows instead of the willy nilly way it’s done now.ReplyCancel

  • Thank you for letting us know about this! We don’t have Netflix or Hulu or anything like that, or TV either, but we’ve talked about getting something like Netflix. After reading your post we definitely won’t be getting Hulu! I hope they will read what you wrote and actually do something about it eventually!ReplyCancel

    • Jennifer Kehl

      Eh Missy ~ They don’t care. We don’t have cable either and I’m a big fan of Netflix and Amazon Prime.ReplyCancel

  • Thanks for the warning! I have Netflix and I recently heard about Hulu and was planning on looking it up. You just saved me the effort.ReplyCancel

  • CLIFF

    Try using the program Hulu Mute. Screen goes black with no sounds when used in fullscreen mode. It still plays the ad in a very small box in the upper left hand corner of the screen. I learned the hard way after an ad for for a rated MA show came on when watching Father Knows Best.ReplyCancel

  • Zalina Kirshat

    so don’t watch? and your son will be OK if he never watches the Cosby show…ReplyCancel

  • Zalina Kirshat

    It’s not like you or he have been denied some vital right… Why the rant?ReplyCancel

  • Mariah Brown

    I am getting so fed up with the inappropriate commercials on hulu as well. I was watching cake boss with the kids the other day when a similar preview/ad popped up even saying “sex.. secuction” blah blah yuck! All while flashing from one nasty scene to another. We turned the TV off, and we’ve had to turn the TV off for commercials regularly, all while hoping not to miss part of a show. I was hopeful when I saw Veggitales ads while watching 7th heaven, but my hope was very short lived. As for the poster criticizing your rant, why do people look for blogs and articles just to criticize people’s legitimate feelings? Hulu sells a service, but packing it full of poison will be the reason we quit our subscription if they don’t fix it SOON!ReplyCancel

  • Jen

    No kidding! Hulu has sold their soul to the sick side of life, it’s unfortunate for sure.ReplyCancel

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