In the past few weeks, Disney has been removing a large number of titles from its streaming services around the world. Many subscribers to Disney+, Hulu, Star+ and Disney+ Hotstar have been taking to social media asking where some shows have gone, and in general, many of the titles are being removed globally. In the United States, we’ve been used to a couple of titles being removed a month due to other licensing deals with other streaming services or that they are limited releases, such as holiday specials.
But in the past month, almost daily, a handful of titles are being removed from one of Disney’s streaming services worldwide. Generally, up until recently, there would only be a handful of titles removed each year internationally, so it does look pretty likely that something has changed. And it doesn’t look like the removals are slowing down, as there is more every day.
Initially, it was thought these removals were a glitch, but with some content removals spreading across multiple platforms, that now looks unlikely, and the removals are planned.
Some of the removals include many Star Originals such as “Rebel”, “Queens”, “Promised Lands”, and “The Big Leap”, all of which were cancelled after one season. Some of these shows have also been removed from digital stores to purchase. This makes it look like these titles are basically being deleted from the internet.
There could be a number of reasons why these titles have been removed, most likely, because these have been cancelled, Disney is writing these shows off as a loss and doesn’t want to pay residual fees to the cast/crew of the shows, since they are just costing money and not that many people are watching it.
And even some Disney+ Originals are starting to be impacted, as the Latin American series, ” El Ristorantino de Arnoldo” has recently been removed from Disney+ across Latin America.
Disney+ subscribers in Latin America have also had most of the general entertainment titles, like “Black-ish”, “Fresh Off The Boat”, and “Single Parents”, removed from the streaming platform without any notice. There are also many other removals from Star+ that are established shows like “The Chi”, “Lie To Me”, and “24”. All of which are popular shows.
Without doubt, there is something going on globally with Disney’s streaming services. Removing unpopular or cancelled shows might not impact too many viewers, since this is ultimately one of the main reasons some titles are being removed. But that doesn’t help that Disney+ doesn’t inform subscribers of removals in advance. So if you’re halfway through a season, suddenly, it vanishes without any warning.
I have previously reached out to Disney to see why some titles were being removed, but was told they were looking into it, and I haven’t received an update. I do think Disney needs to start providing some information to subscribers about these removals in advance, especially if it’s going to become a regular thing, as other subscription services do this.
Keeping shows and films on a streaming service does cost money, as there are many costs involved, including residual payments, licensing and physical costs. But it also shows why Disney+ shouldn’t be looked at like your own personal library, because, at any time, titles can be removed. But I do feel subscribers should be informed in advance, as they are ultimately paying for access to this content.
Something backstage at Disney has changed. Could these titles be returned? Possibly? But if people don’t notice they are being removed, it will probably continue.
Roger has been a Disney fan since he was a kid and this interest has grown over the years. He has visited Disney Parks around the globe and has a vast collection of Disney movies and collectibles. He is the owner of What's On Disney Plus & DisKingdom.