Chinese streaming platforms censor LGBTQ references in TV show Friends

Chinese streaming platforms censor LGBTQ references in TV show Friends

Scenes that have been cut include interactions between Ross and his ex-wife Carol, as well as Chandler and Joey's NYE kiss.
14 Feb, 2022

American TV show Friends has been a staple on our TV screens for well over decade and popular for both its comedy and characters but viewers in China won't get to see the show in its entirety as censors have cut scenes featuring LGBTQ characters.

According to Hong-Kong based newspaper South China Morning Post, censors have pulled out scenes between Ross (David Schwimmer) and his ex-wife Carol (Anita Barone) who came out as lesbian after their divorce. The story of both Ross and Carol parting ways is explored in the initial episodes with the former mourning his new single life.

Joey (Matt LeBlanc) and Chandler's (Matthew Perry) New Year kiss on screen was also cut. According to the publication, the censors also replaced a dialogue in the subtitles. What once read "multiple orgasms" was changed to "women have endless gossips."

Chinese fans of the show took their reactions to the alterations to social media site Weibo after the first season aired on multiple local streaming platforms in China. They protested against the changes made in the show and trending the hashtag #FriendsCensored to the top of the website. According to CNN, the hashtags were also censored on Saturday.

According to the Morning Post, a popular comment on Weibo read, "Seriously, if you can't broadcast [the complete version], just don't do it at all. [The streaming platforms] spent big bucks to buy the rights [to the show], but efforts to alter lines and edit out scenes ended up being slammed by the audience. What for?"

Previously the authorities were also slammed for removing many scenes from Friends Reunion where segments featuring stars Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber and BTS were edited out. They also removed all references to the LGBTQ community made in the reunion.

This isn't the first time Chinese authorities have edited western films or TV serials. Quite recently they also changed Fight Club's original ending to the authorities ultimately winning. Marvel's Shang-Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings also never made it to Chinese cinemas in an effort to remove "western influence" in Asia.


Adeel Feb 14, 2022 01:13pm
So? Why is Pakistan bothered? In Pakistan, you cannot even marry outside your religion. Why upset about LGBTQ?
Ahmad Feb 14, 2022 01:51pm
LGBTQ is not even 2% of population in the developed world. The world doesnt have to accommodate what it stands for. Its perversion.
Dr. Salaria, Aamir Ahmad Feb 14, 2022 01:54pm
The sociocultural values, norms, precedents, principles and practices of the People's Republic of China are entirely different than the U.S.
Akil Akhtar Feb 14, 2022 01:54pm
Well Done.....we need to reject western garbage...
ronny Feb 14, 2022 02:58pm
good. pakistan should do the same.
FAZ Feb 14, 2022 03:08pm
@Adeel So an entertainment news, published in an entertainment section led you to believe that it is a hot issue in Pakistan?
S Siddiqi Feb 14, 2022 05:44pm
Good for China! More power to them.
mudas777 Feb 14, 2022 05:58pm
Every country have got different culture, sensitives, morals and laws like the West. We are told while in the UK respect our laws then it applies the same for China too.
Ali Sabir Feb 15, 2022 04:19am
... No problem for me.