Hulu has reversed its decision to reject an advertisement for a Texas church’s weeknight service, after spurning it twice as being “religious indoctrination.”

The Fort Worth, Texas-based Hulen Street Church created an ad to advertise its new Thursday night service, which “the church successfully placed … through Facebook, Instagram, and Google ads,” according to First Liberty Institute, a nonprofit law firm advocating on behalf of the church. 

However, “despite seeming to fit Hulu’s announced advertising policy, Hulu originally rejected the ad twice,” the Plano, Texas-based law firm said.  

The 22-second advertisement included a simple invitation, in which the church’s pastor, Wes Hamilton, asks: “Does your work schedule or busy family calendar not allow you to attend church on a Sunday morning? If so, I want to invite you to Thursday nights at Hulen Street Church beginning on February 1st.”

According to the First Liberty Institute, when Hamilton asked for Hulu’s reason for refusing to broadcast the ad, “it said that the ad violated policies against ‘religious indoctrination’ due to asking viewer to attend Thursday services.”   

“The words ‘Religious Indoctrination’ appear nowhere in Hulu’s published ad policy,” First Liberty noted.  

First Liberty Institute senior counsel Jeremy Dys sent a letter to the Disney-owned Hulu’s deputy chief counsel, Angie Kang, on Monday.  

“We write to raise concerns about Hulu’s policy against ‘religious indoctrination’ in its ad-placement program and the inconsistent application of that policy against the church,the letter stated

Dys said, “Hulu certainly cannot believe that advertising for a church runs a greater risk of ‘indoctrination’ than ads promoting alcohol, casinos, and dating apps.” 

“We ask that Hulu clarify its policy concerning ‘Religious Indoctrination’ to make clear that religious speech, like that contemplated by the advertisement in question, is welcome on its platform,” he wrote. 

“Further, we request that Hulu immediately allow Hulen Street Church’s Thursday night services ad to run on Hulu’s local ad platform,” Dys wrote. 

“Hulu would do well to address these problems before it may be forced to do so under Texas law,” the letter added.  

Two days after the letter was sent to Hulu’s management, the streaming service reversed itself and accepted the church’s service ad.  

“We are grateful to Hulu for its quick response to our demand letter and for accepting Hulen Street Church’s ad,” Dys said. “In the future, Hulu—and others in Big Tech—could avoid these kinds of conflicts by adopting advertising policies that do not discriminate against religious organizations, being transparent about its advertising policy, and applying it fairly.”  

Requests for comment from Hulu were not returned at the time of publication.

Have an opinion about this article? To sound off, please email, and we’ll consider publishing your edited remarks in our regular “We Hear You” feature. Remember to include the URL or headline of the article plus your name and town and/or state