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China censors Friends The Reunion: BTS, Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga’s appearances deleted

Lady Gaga's version of "Smelly Cat got chopped from Friends: The Reunion in China as the singer is banned in the country ever since her meeting with the Dalai Lama in 2016.

By: Entertainment Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: May 29, 2021 8:50:26 am
friends reunion episodeFriends: The Reunion released on May 27. (Photo: HBO Max)

Friends: The Reunion, the special episode of the popular sitcom Friends, was censored by China, with a few of the guest appearances getting shaved off. The appearances of the K-pop band BTS, Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga were edited out from the episode, renedring it shorter by about six minutes.

As per a Hollywood Reporter report, China’s leading video platforms — iQiyi, Tencent Video and Alibaba’s Youku acquired the rights of the special episode but all of them censored the 110-minute episode.

The streamers removed the portion where BTS lead RM shared his love for the show and its cast. The Korean pop band has been a target of censors in China since it talked about the sacrifices of South Korean and U.S. soldiers during the Korean War. The comment of the band outraged people in China as the country supported North Korea in the war.

Lady Gaga’s version of “Smelly Cat” also got chopped as the singer is banned in the country ever since her meeting with the Dalai Lama in 2016. Justin Bieber irked the country after his Instagram post about his visit to Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo in 2014. The religious site is a matter of international controversy and the singer has been blacklisted in China ever since.

Besides these cuts, the streaming services also cut the comments of the LGBTQ fans of Friends. However, despite the edits, the episode received a great response from the viewers in the country. Hollywood Reported stated that the special currently has a sky-high 9.5/10 rating on China’s movie and TV reviews site Douban, making it one of the highest-rated TV imports.

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