Hotstar, India's largest on-demand video streaming service and a subsidiary of global media powerhouse Disney, has blocked the latest episode of HBO's "Last Week Tonight with John Oliver" that dealt with a critical view of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, reports US-based technology publication Tech Crunch.
With more than 300 million users, Hotstar is an exclusive syndicating partner of HBO, Showtime and ABC in India.
In the Last Week Tonight episode, aired hours before US President Donal Trump's first-ever visit to India, host John Oliver talked about the questionable policies enforced by the Modi government and the recent protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) happening all across the nation, says the Tech Crunch piece.
The 19-minute news recap format, despite featuring heavy comedic and satirical elements as part of political commentary, cited credible news outlets as sources.
The episode, which has been uploaded on the official Last Week Tonight YouTube channel, currently has 6,101,334 views and counting.
Star India, which runs Hotstar, as well as Disney, which acquired the major Indian broadcasting network, did not respond to requests for comment, according to Tech Crunch.
The move angered many of Hotstar's customers, while a spokesperson of the Information and Broadcasting Ministry – the governing agency which regulates information, broadcasts, movies and the press in India – said the government was not involved in any censorship discussions.