There are several works that have been affected by the censorship of the Chinese Communist Party recently. From ‘Mulan’ to ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, to ‘Star Trek: Beyond’ and ‘Alien: Covenant’, a large number of productions have had to adapt part of their content to comply with the moral demands of the Chinese censors. A few days ago we saw John Cena apologizing in Mandarin for a mistake during the ‘Fast & Furious 9’ promo, realizing the economic risk that failure to pass the approval of the Chinese government can pose. Now it is the turn of ‘Friends: The Reunion’, which has landed on Chinese platforms with 6 minutes less footage to eliminate the presence of unwanted personalities.
Specifically, the appearances of the K-pop group BTS, the performance of Lady Gaga with Lisa Kudrow performing ‘Smelly Cat’, and the presence of Justin Bieber disguised as Sputnik were censored. The interventions of the members of ‘Friends’ did not come out of one piece either, as a scene of Matt LeBlanc in his underpants has also been censored, or a reference to when Joey and Chandler helped Monica with a jellyfish sting by urinating on him. Not even those who have nothing to do with the event were spared, because The appearance of two LGTB fans telling how the series had helped them is not in the version that arrived in China..
“He was a gay man who wanted to have Jennifer Aniston hair, you can imagine how lonely I felt sometimes,” said a German fan. Another interviewee was a woman who showed her girlfriend on camera saying, “Like all Chandlers, I found my Monica.”
The strains come from before
“Are we returning to the isolationist Qing dynasty, closed to the rest of the world?” Criticized a user on the Weibo platform that Variety collected. Nevertheless, There are also those who support censorship claiming that anyone who has defamed China should be banned. But what defamations are they referring to?
For its part, Lady Gaga was declared persona non grata since her meeting with the Dalai Lama in 2016. Justin Bieber was first criticized in 2014 for taking a photo visiting the Yasukuni war shrine. In 2017 he was definitely banned from acting in the country alleging a series of bad behaviors on and off stage.
The censorship has not sat well with a large part of the fans, and many have chosen to illegally download the HBO Max version to avoid local streamers. Others have preferred to resort to platforms such as Bilibili, which has managed to release an uncensored version not authorized by the government.