The recent Hulu arrival of a special news report focused on the tragedy at Travis Scott’s Astroworld Festival was quickly met with criticism from those who argued it was too soon for such a project, perhaps due to many mistaking it for an actual documentary.
The 50-minute special is no longer playable on the platform. “This was an investigative local news special from ABC13/KTRK-TV in Houston that originally aired on November 20th,” a Hulu spokesperson told Variety. “This was not a Hulu documentary and has since been removed to avoid confusion.”
Local outlet ABC13/KTRK-TV’s offering— i.e. not a Hulu original—was titled Astroworld: Concert From Hell and billed as a “minute-by-minute look” at what happened last month when multiple festival attendees died. And while it’s no longer available to stream, at the time of this writing its landing page remained active. Here’s more of the description visible on Hulu:
“Travis Scott’s Astroworld Festival was supposed to be the concert of a lifetime. But it turned into a tragic nightmare. A minute-by-minute look at what happened in the crowd, the young victims who were killed, and what happens next.”
As you may have seen in recent days, there was a flurry of social media activity regarding the special hitting the streaming service. For many, Concert From Hell was showing up as the top banner on the platform when logging in.
As touched on above, the questionably titled Concert From Hell is better described as a long-form news special, the likes of which regularly appear on broadcast television (and subsequently on Hulu) following major events. The special is currently still available on ABC13’s site. The channel is part of the ABC Owned Television Stations group, which is itself owned by Disney.
In short, the problem here actually appears to be how the news special was presented on the platform, as many were convinced upon seeing the banner that this was a full-scale documentary. Complex has reached out to reps for ABC and Hulu for comment and will update this post accordingly.
A total of 10 people have now died in connection with the festival, which has spurred a number of lawsuits against Scott and others, including Live Nation. In an extended statement shared in November, Public Enemy’s Chuck D defended Scott by arguing that the Utopia artist is taking the blame “while the old white men running the corps that Travis and his fans trusted with their lives stay quiet in the shadows.”