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Chinese streaming services slammed for censoring gay plotline in hit sitcom Friends
Chinese streaming services have been slammed for censoring old episodes of hit television show Friends because of LGBTQ storyline content.Having faced ridicule for changing – and then changing back – the ending to Fight Club last week, a whole host of streaming services in the country are now facing pressure to return newly-streamed episodes of the sitcom to their original glory.According to local reports, the censoring begins from the very first episode when dialogue featuring Ross discussing ex-wife Carol Willick, who left him for a woman, was changed from “women can have multiple orgasms” to say that “women have endless gossips”.It was first broadcast uncensored by streaming services Sohu and iQiyi in 2012, but has now returned to many different services with the new script.The services featuring the show are Bilibili, Tencent, Youku, Sohu and iQiyi.It comes off the back of several changes to the Friends: Reunion episode late last year, which saw surprise guest appearance from Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga and BTS all dropped from the Chinese version, while talk of LGBTQ topics were also edited out.But Chinese viewers took to local social media network Weibo to vent their anger over the change. One user wrote: “Not only does it ignore women’s sexual desire and enjoyment, but also reinforces the gender stereotype of women.” And many users like a post calling it an “insult to our English language ability”.