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Friends: Why Chinese fans are furious with Friends: The Reunion

In China's version of the much-anticipated Friends reunion special, guest stars BTS, Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber were nowhere to be seen. What happened? Discover it here!

Scenes from Friends: The Reunion are banned in Chine
Scenes from Friends: The Reunion are banned in Chine

Friends: The Reunion is here! But eagle-eyed fans found that stars like BTS, Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber were cut on all three Chinese streamers with broadcast rights. LGBTQ references, among other things, were also gone.

It is believed that footage of the stars were cut because they are deemed to have insulted China in the past. The US sitcom is hugely popular in China, so the censorship of course upset fans. Some have since sourced and shared the deleted clips on social media on their own, while others circulated links to the uncensored, full episode, hosted on piracy sites.

Friends: The Reunion

So, how have BTS, Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber angered China? There were calls to boycott South Korean boy band BTS in China last year over comments a member made about the Korean War.

Meanwhile, American singer-songwriter Lady Gaga is banned from touring in China, following her meeting with the Dalai Lama in 2016. By showing her support for the Tibetan spiritual leader, she had upset Chinese officials who feel he is a figurehead for Tibetan separatism.

The Canadian pop star is banned from performing in China for "bad behaviour". In 2014, he caused an upset after posting a photo of himself visiting the controversial Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo. The shrine is seen in China and South Korea as a symbol of Japan not being sorry for its empire's past.

Friends: The Reunion

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