Friends, the cult American series of the 90s, has just returned to streaming platforms in China. Only, the party took care to remove any reference to the homosexuality of one of the characters. Yet another censorship that does not pass with fans, who expressed their dissatisfaction on Weibo, the main social network in the country. Before being censored in turn.
This Friday, February 11, 2022, Chinese fans of the series Friends were impatiently awaiting the return of the cult series from the 90s to the streaming platforms available in the Middle Kingdom. Only, the joy of the spectators was quickly spoiled by the Chinese Communist Party. Indeed, the authorities have chosen to remove any mention of homosexuality of a character.
Specifically, changes have been made to the second episode of the season on the Bibilli, Tencent, iQiyi and Youku platforms. “I found out that all the homosexual dialogue from Carol, Ross’s ex-wife, had been cut. The cuts are obvious”, writes a user on Weibo. His message garnered no less than 177,000 likes on the Chinese social network.
Read also: Fortnite disappears from the Chinese market, it’s over
China censors Friends, fans cry foul
Unsurprisingly, critics poured in on Weibo, some Internet users risking a certain irony : “So why talk about homosexuality? There is no such thing here, where eternal perfection reigns. Everyone is happy under this government,” strikes a user. As you can doubt, these scathing comments towards the Party were all deleted soon after they were published.
Incidentally, the hashtag “Friends censored” quickly disappeared, replaced by the hashtag “Why is Friends so popular”. The series Friends has become particularly popular in China over the years and as our colleagues from the Le Progrès site remind us, many young Chinese claim to have learned English following the adventures of Ross, Monica, Rachel, Joey and Chandler.
In recent months, the Chinese authorities have increased censorship measures against imported cultural works and entertainment. This is particularly the case with video games. In July 2021, China imposed a facial recognition test for gambling after 10 p.m., while minors have been banned from gambling for more than 3 hours per week since the end of August 2021.