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China censors ‘Friends: The Reunion’, removes Lady Gaga, BTS, Justin Bieber appearances

All of China’s leading video streaming platforms -- iQiyi, Tencent Video, and Alibaba’s Youku – aired the censored version of the special ‘Friends’ reunion episode.

May 28, 2021 / 05:57 PM IST
The Friends Reunion aired on May 27, 2021.

The Friends Reunion aired on May 27, 2021.

The recently aired ‘Friends: The Reunion’, a special episode featuring a reunion of the cast of the immensely popular 90s sitcom ‘Friends’, was reportedly censored by Chinese authorities.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, some of the surprise guest appearances were deleted by China. The bytes of K-pop boy band BTS, and singers Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga were edited out of the ‘Friends: The Reunion’ that was aired in China. As a result, the Friends reunion being aired in China is around six minutes shorter.

All of China’s leading video streaming platforms -- iQiyi, Tencent Video, and Alibaba’s Youku – aired the censored version of the special ‘Friends’ episode.

Why were the parts featuring BTS, Lady Gaga, and Justin Bieber removed?

Korean pop band BTS has fallen prey to Chinese censorship several times ever since it spoke about the sacrifices of South Korean and United States (US) soldiers who laid down their lives during the Korean War. China took offense to the comment as the country had backed North Korea during the crisis.

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The part where Lady Gaga sings “Smelly Cat” along with Lisa Kudrow – who played the role of Phoebe Buffay – was also removed as the award-winning singer has been banned in China since her meeting with the Dalai Lama in 2016.

Justin Bieber’s parody catwalk as “Spudnik” was also cut out by Chinese authorities as he had drawn the country’s ire for posting about his visit to the controversial religious site -- Yasukuni Shrine -- in Tokyo on Instagram.

Additionally, the comments of queer fans of the ‘Friends’ show were also omitted by China.



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Moneycontrol News
first published: May 28, 2021 05:57 pm
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