The show Friends from back in the day was one of the cleaner shows, to be honest. If you, as the Chinese Communist Party, then they see things differently. Or, it might be the free-spirited lifestyle that the characters lived?
After Friends: The Reunion was famous in China. Streaming services made it available. That didn’t go unnoticed, and the government decided to ban parts of the shows that included gay relationships, one-night stands, adultery, and underage love.
It is due to a guideline that was put in place in 2016 that censors “vulgar, immoral, and unhealthy” portions of shows.
The scene in the first episode that shows a character talking about his ex-wife’s lesbian adulterous adventures was censored. Other parts of the show that talk about homosexualism have been changed.
Of all the shows on American television, Friends was more of a romantic comedy/sit-com type of show, and most people thought nothing of the content they were watching. The CCP has to leverage everything to make sure citizens aren’t exposed to anything that they deem immoral or too Americanized.
Instead of a conversation of the unique sexual nature of women, the show features subtitles that say, “women have endless gossips.”
That has led the hashtag “#FriendsCensored” to the trend by Chinese fans and led the State to delete the hashtag. It was mentioned over 54 million times before the government stepped in.
The Chinese people can understand and speak English, at least in the major cities with many tourists. The further you get from those areas, the less you hear it spoken. Online complaints about the subtitles included that the censorship was an “insult to our English language ability.”
Like the CCP did to Fight Club, they saw no room for disobedience or the illusion of average people overcoming tyranny. The ending of Fight Club (spoiler alert) that showed a financial collapse was replaced with the original ending where criminals were arrested, and the government won.
To the CCP, everything done in films is playtime, and the government comes in and saves the day. Because people enjoy tyranny, right? They want the government to tell everyone what to do rather than think for themselves. That takes too much work.
The CCP also pressured Disney into removing an episode of The Simpsons that showed the characters mocking the Chinese government.
The CCP isn’t as bright as they look. It’s easy to figure out the actual plot of films and television shows with a small amount of research.