Fans outraged after Friends gets censored in China: Here’s why

1998 The Cast in Year 4 of Friends
1998 The Cast in Year 4 of Friends /

As one of the most beloved sitcoms of all time, Friends is a staple for many. It’s a quick go-to when you can’t decide what to watch, or an easy marathon when you’re feeling down and need a good laugh. The popularity of the show likely won’t ever go away, especially when you consider that the stars just got together for a reunion special in 2021. It’s been nearly 18 years since the finale aired on NBC, and fans across the globe still love to relive those 10 great seasons.

With the amount of Friends binging still going around across different countries, it’s no surprise that when fans in China finally got the re-release of the show and realized scenes were missing, they were confused.

What parts of Friends did China censor?

As it turns out, according to NBC News, the country has released a new version of the comedic show in which some of the LGBTQ+ storylines have been cut completely. The re-release on various Chinese streaming services also, reportedly, changed some of its subtitles.

According to the angry fans, the biggest storyline to take a hit is that of Carol’s, Ross’ ex-wife who is a lesbian. Apparently, Carol being a lesbian is completely taken out of the show. Of course, we can’t access this new version from the United States, so we’re listening to those located in China to share all the details.

Vice reports that a reference to a strip club said by Joey has been changed, as well as the mention of “multiple orgasms.” Apparently, the latter has been mended to “women have endless gossip.” The mention of marijuana has also been changed to something more G-rated.

Friends certainly isn’t suited for young children, but for the teens and adults looking to watch their favorite sitcom in China, this new version is way too censored for their liking. The hashtag #FriendsCensored started trending on Twitter last week, and reportedly, the hashtag has even been censored in China.

Understandably, this is also angering fans outside of China to know that storylines covering very normal aspects of life, such as sex and relationships, have been removed. The stars of Friends have yet to make a comment, but we wouldn’t be surprised if an actor or two spoke up.

For fans in the United States, all 10 seasons of Friends can be streamed on HBO Max.

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