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Disney Decides To Keep ‘Howard’ Documentary on Disney+

Yesterday, it was revealed that Disney would begin removing dozens of titles from Disney+ (globally) and Hulu starting next week.  One of the titles listed to be removed from the streaming platform was the Disney+ Original documentary “Howard.”  The film premiered on Disney+ in August 2020.

According to Deadline, Disney+’s documentary “Howard” will not be removed from the service stating: Since the titles were made public yesterday, Disney had received backlash over the pending removal of Howard — about famous lyricist Howard Ashman, a gay man, who co-wrote the songs for Disney’s Little Mermaid animated classic —  and its timing, on the eve of the release of the live-action Little Mermaid movie and LGBTQ+ Pride Month.

A list of dozens of titles to be removed from Disney’s streaming services was released yesterday however Deadline states “The list of titles coming off of Hulu and Disney+ next week is still being finalized,” a rep for the company said.

The move, which comes with a content impairment charge of $1.5 billion to $1.8 billion, was announced during the recent Disney earnings call on May 10.

“We are in the process of reviewing the content on our DTC services to align with the strategic changes in our approach to content curation,” CFO Christine McCarthy said.

Directed by Don Hahn (“Beauty and the Beast”), “Howard” is the untold story of Howard Ashman, the brilliant lyricist behind Disney classics like “Aladdin,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “The Little Mermaid” and creator of musicals including “Little Shop of Horrors.” Featuring never-before-seen archival footage, personal films and photographs, as well as interviews with Howard’s friends and family, the film is an intimate look at the Disney Legend’s life, his creative drive, and the process behind the music. Spanning his childhood in Baltimore, to his formative years in New York, and his untimely death from AIDS, “Howard” goes in-depth to explore his journey to become the lyricist behind some of the most beloved and well-known classic family films in the world.

The film features interviews with Ashman’s longtime musical collaborator Alan Menken, who also scored the film, Bill Lauch (Ashman’s Partner), Jodi Benson (“The Little Mermaid”), Paige O’Hara (“Beauty and the Beast”), Sarah Gillespie (Ashman’s Sister), and more.

Source: Deadline

Michelle Beck
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