Hulu removed the Astroworld documentary titled Astroworld: Concert from Hell after intense social media backlash. The documentary premiered on the streaming platform on Wednesday, but the 50-minute special was taken down immediately on Thursday, with critics claiming that it was way too soon to accurately cover the event.
On Nov. 5 in Houston, Tx., a crowd surge at Travis Scott’s Astroworld Festival resulted in the death of 10 people, including 9-year-old fan Ezra Blount. Held at NRG Park, over 300 people were treated for injuries in the chaos as festival directors and stadium security failed to prevent overcrowding and respond quickly to the dangerous situation.
“Travis Scott’s Astroworld Festival was supposed to be the concert of a lifetime,” the description read for Hulu’s Astroworld: Concert from Hell documentary, “but it turned into a tragic nightmare.”
The streaming service described the documentary as a minute-by-minute look at “what really happened — from chaos at the gates hours before the music started, to what went wrong in the crowd as the night went on, and the ten victims who never made it home. Plus what happens next in the growing investigation.”
Authorities are still investigating who should be held responsible for the tragedy. Meanwhile, hundreds of alleged victims have filed lawsuits claiming emotional and physical damage. Travis Scott has apologized for the incident and offered to pay the funeral costs for anyone lost in the tragedy. Some families, however, have turned down his offer, presumably due to pending litigations suing the rapper for damages.
“Hulu making a documentary about Astroworld is in poor taste all around,” one critic wrote on Twitter. “People are still burying their loved ones. The legal cases haven’t even started. Great documentaries are done when all the facts are laid out. Not enough time has passed to fully discuss this.”
Unlike other popular festival tragedy documentaries, such as Netflix’s Netflix’s Fyre: The Greatest Party that Never Happened or Hulu’s Fyre Fraud, multiple lives were lost at Astroworld, carrying a lot more weight than just a failed festival like Fyre.
Critics also called the documentary “tacky” and “in poor taste” coming so soon after the tragedy.
“Nobody should ever die from going to a concert,” said Ben Crump, the high-profile attorney representing hundreds of alleged victims. “This lawsuit is not just about getting justice for them, but it’s about making sure that the promoters and the organizers know that you can not allow this to ever happen in the future.”
“We are hearing horrific accounts of the terror and helplessness people experienced,” Ben Crump described at a press conference, adding “the horror of a crushing crowd and the awful trauma of watching people die while trying unsuccessfully to save them.”
Gertrude Daughtery, a 59-year-old grandmother who claimed that she was stuck on the floor with injuries for over 15 minutes at the Astroworld tragedy, said that it “was a nightmare that I’ll never forget.”
“I can’t sleep at night,” she said. “Every time I close my eyes, I see it.”
Though the documentary, which was released on Hulu just a month after the incident, received intense social media backlash online, The Wrap reported that it was actually taken down because of incorrect marketing.
According to sources at Hulu, Houston’s ABC News affiliate station KTRK produced the special under the same name, and Hulu incorrectly marketed it as a Hulu original. The KTRK special also aired on Nov. 20, just two weeks after the event.
Hulu has yet to officially comment about removing the video, but a source confirmed to the New York Post that “this was an investigative local news special from ABC13/KTRK-TV in Houston that originally aired on Nov. 20.”
“This was not a Hulu documentary,” the source continued, “and has since been removed to avoid confusion.”
The 50-minute special is also still available to watch on KTRK’s platform.