China Streaming Services Censor ‘Friends’ Episodes With LGBTQ Storylines


friends Episodes relating to anything deviating from heterosexuality have been censored in China, CNN reports.

Several episodes featuring LGBTQIA+ characters have been removed from Chinese streaming platforms. Removed all mention of Ross’ (David Schwimmer) ex-wife, Carol (Anita Barone), who marries Ross, has his child, and then comes out as a lesbian on the TV show.

According to the South China tomorrow post, a scene in which Chandler (Matthew Perry) and Joey (Matt LeBlanc) kiss on New Year’s Eve was also removed. Also, Chinese subtitles don’t reflect the actual show’s dialogue. For example, instead of a line about women experiencing “multiple orgasms,” it says, “Women have endless gossip.”

Fans took to the social media site Weibo to protest changes to the show after it debuted on a handful of streaming platforms on Friday, with the hashtag #FriendsCensored even becoming a trending topic. However, on Saturday morning, this hashtag was also censored on Weibo.

“Seriously, if you can’t broadcast [the complete version], just don’t do it,” wrote one Weibo user. “[The streaming platforms] spent a lot of money to buy the rights [to the show], but efforts to change lines and cut out scenes were slammed by audiences. For what reason?”

friends had a reunion on HBO Max last May, and even that was censored. Appearances from BTS, Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber were taken out, as was a scene with a gay person from Germany speaking about how friends changed his life.


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