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Friends reunion: The one where Lady Gaga, BTS and Justin Bieber were censored

AFP/Beijing
Filed on May 29, 2021
Photo: Instagram

Cameos by the celebrities were dropped by versions of the show on three Chinese video platforms

Chinese fans of the popular sitcom Friends were upset after censors cut guest stars Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber and Korean boyband BTS from the much-awaited reunion episode.

When the one-off special of the beloved 1990s sitcom was streamed on three Chinese video platforms, cameos by the celebrities were removed from all versions.

Lady Gaga was banned from touring China in 2016. Bieber has been blocked since 2014 and BTS from last year.

Chinese fans were also quick to point out that local versions of Friends: The Reunion was several minutes shorter than the 104 minute show released worldwide on Thursday.

Chinese streaming services iQiyi, Youku and Tencent Video did not answer AFP queries about what prompted the censorship.

The sitcom about six New Yorkers has a huge following among Chinese millennials. The show's popularity has also spawned Central Perk cafes in several Chinese cities, styled after the hangout regularly featured in the show.

Fans took to social media to vent out their frustration at the censorship.

"I was waiting for weeks to watch the Friends reunion only to find that the version streamed in China was all mangled," wrote one user.





 
 
 
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