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Friends: China censors passages evoking homosexuality


Original dialogues evoking homosexuality modified in the Chinese version of “Friends”. The main Chinese streaming platforms censored this Friday, February 11, passages from the 2021 special “Friends: The Reunion” dealing with a subject still taboo in China.

Broadcast on Sohu video and iQiyi since 2012, the series Friends is very popular in China. With the worldwide enthusiasm linked to the reunion of the six main actors for the show “Friends: The Reunion”, eminent streaming platforms in China, such as Bilibili, Tencent, Youku, Sohu or even iQiyi have purchased the broadcasting rights. .

However, as CNN noted, during the broadcast of the first episode in China this Friday, original dialogue deemed too suggestive and comments dealing with homosexuality were modified and censored.

Some conversations about Carol Willick, Ross’ ex-wife who filed for divorce after finding out she was a lesbian, were cut. In the same vein, colorful discussions on the sexual level have been deleted.

“Bohemian Rahpsody” as previous

The removal of these original passages was not to the liking of the fans of the series in China. By Friday evening, the hashtag #FriendsCensored had garnered 54 million views on Twitter, before being removed from the platform on Saturday morning. Last May, the cult American series had already been subjected to similar censorship by Chinese leaders.

In 2016, China issued new guidelines to remove stories with same-sex relationships from the country’s television shows.

When the film “Bohemian Rahpsody” was released in the country in 2019, more than two minutes of LGBTQ content, including sequences where the word “gay” was used and where two men kissed, had been removed.



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