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A viral tweet alleged on Friday that Hulu users in the United States could no longer view the episode.
“Hulu has blocked the Iran episode of Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown from being viewed in the US,” Twitter user @panarin_misha wrote.
Hulu has blocked the Iran episode of Anthony Bourdain's Parts Unknown from being viewed in the US— Misha Panarin - DEATH TO AMERICA (@panarin_misha) January 17, 2020
“Hulu is owned by Disney, and Disney has a very specific history of doing stuff like this,” Twitter user @film4brains added. “Knew it was coming, effed up that they’re already allowed to do this…”
Hulu is owned by Disney, and Disney has a very specific history of doing stuff like this. Knew it was coming, effed up that they're already allowed to do this...— Noraa Sue (@film4brains) January 17, 2020
But it turns out that the claims aren’t exactly true. The episode, which originally aired in 2014 on CNN, was never offered on Hulu’s main service to begin with.
In a statement to the Hollywood Reporter, a Hulu spokesperson pointed to licensing rules as the reason why the episode’s unavailable.
“Hulu does not license Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown directly—we only receive the on-demand episodes that are provided by the network,” the spokesperson told the Hollywood Reporter. “This particular episode has never been made available to Hulu, but we would welcome it on our service if provided.”
Bourdain, who died in 2018 at the age of 61, described the Iranian people as “overwhelmingly friendly” following his visit.
“This is not a black-and-white world, as much as people would like to portray it as such,” Bourdain wrote at the time. “That’s not an apology for anything. I’m just saying that the brief, narrow slice of Iran we give you in this episode of Parts Unknown is only one part of a much deeper, multihued, very old and very complicated story.”
And for those without access to the show, there’s always Rick Steves’ “Iran” to provide a glimpse into Iranian life for free on YouTube.
Mikael Thalen is a tech and security reporter based in Seattle, covering social media, data breaches, hackers, and more.