The appearances of Lady Gaga
, Justin Bieber
, and LGBTQ fans
from HBO's much-anticipated "Friends: The Reunion
" were carved out by the country's three top streaming platforms, infuriating fans.
South Korean boy band BTS, a shot of Matt LeBlanc
's Joey in his underwear, and a reference to peeing on a jellyfish sting were also removed from the show, Variety and Agence France
Approximately six minutes of the 104-minute program resurrecting the long-running American sitcom about six New York
friends, which has a massive fan base in China
, were censored. Many of the same scenes were cut by China's iQiyi, Alibaba's Youku, and Tencent Video, according to Variety.
The full HBO Max
version featured Gaga singing "Smelly Cat
" with Lisa Kudrow
's Phoebe (watch
it above), in which she thanks Kudrow for being "the different one, the one who was truly herself" on the show, whereas the Chinese version featured Kudrow singing a single lyric alone.
Lady Gaga was barred from touring in China after meeting exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, whom China has labeled a dangerous separatist, in 2016.
Bieber's amusing catwalk walk in the wacky "Spudnik" potato costume that Ross wore for Halloween in a season 8 episode also vanished in the Chinese reunion versions.
Bieber was barred from performing in China due to a "series of bad behaviors," including a visit to Tokyo's Yasukuni war shrine in 2014, which honors Japanese war dead, including World War II
The cuts infuriated fans in China.
“I'm fxxking speechless. Either give us the unedited version or never broadcast the clip. What's the point of watching the censored version?” @Maidoufudaye asked on Weibo, according to The Guardian.
“Is homosexuality... anti-China?” another Weibo user wondered.
“Are we reverting to the isolationist Qing dynasty, closed off from the rest of the world?” one person asked.
Last October, China nationalists chastised BTS for failing to acknowledge Chinese soldiers' sacrifices in the Korean War
during the band's acceptance speech for a prize honoring the group's contribution to American-South Korean relations.