China Censors BTS, Justin Bieber Out of Friends Reunion

China Censors BTS, Justin Bieber Out of Friends Reunion

Chinese entertainment companies heavily edited the Friends sitcom reunion special airing on Thursday to remove entertainers offensive to the Communist Party, such as Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga, and the South Korean boy band BTS.

Also missing from the final product, which aired in the United States via HBO Max, were all scenes featuring LGBT people or mentioning homosexuality in any way and “a seemingly innocuous classic scene in which Monica recounts how Chandler and Joey helped her overcome a severe jellyfish sting by peeing on her,” according to the American magazine Variety.

The censorship follows the removal of seven of the largest BTS fan pages previously available on Weibo, China’s largest social media outlet, on the eve of the release of their latest single, “Butter.” China has also invested in the past year in the development of a rival boy band to diminish the outstanding commercial success of the South

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