Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber edited out of Friends reunion episode in China

·1-min read
<p>Lady Gaga was cut out of the episode before it aired in China </p> (HBO Max)

Lady Gaga was cut out of the episode before it aired in China

(HBO Max)

Chinese Friends fans were left baffled after censors removed references and guest appearances from the star-studded reunion special.

The 90s sitcom, based in New York City, enjoys huge popularity in China but eagle-eyed viewers spotted that the much-anticipated episode was missing some scenes.

Guest stars such as the boyband BTS and singers Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber were cut out while some LGBT references were also removed.

It is unclear whether the cuts were made by Chinese censors , or if the edits were made by streaming services as a precaution.

For example, one of the streamers iQiyi was missing six minutes missing from the original one hour and 44 minute episode, while another platform YouKu only cut out about four minutes.

China’s social media website Weibo saw the hashtag #Friends viewed more than 1.2bn times, while some 700,000 discussion entries have occurred since show’s release.

“I’m fxxking speechless. Either give us the unedited version or never broadcast the clip. What is the point of watching the censored version?” wrote @Maidoufudaye.

“Is homosexual to do with anti-China? So laughable,” said @Luxun201706.

Fans speculated that some stars may have been cut for previously sparking controversy in China.

Lady Gaga was banned from touring in China in 2016 after meeting with the Dalai Lama, who the Chinese government has branded a “separatist”.

Only last week, Weibo banned 10 accounts of the South Korean boyband BTS’s fan clubs from posting for 30 days for “encouraging inappropriate behaviours, including cyberbullying and improper fundraising and voting”.

Justin Bieber was banned from performing in China in 2017 for a “series of bad behaviours”.

He had visited the Yasukuni shrine in Tokyo, which honours convicted World War II criminals.

Read More

What the papers say – May 30

Risk of Covid-19 death for ethnic groups ‘different in second wave’

UK experiment points to a solution to one of fusion energy’s hottest problems