The ‘Friends The Reunion‘ experienced the beloved American sitcom stars — Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry, and David Schwimmer — reconnect on the actual trademark orange sofa from the show, by the fountain where they grooved to the title song before every episode. As the sextet opened up with celebrity talk show host James Corden, they jogged down memory lane, reliving anecdotes from on and off the camera over the 10 years that the show ran, from 1994 to 2004, as well as recreate memorable scenes and share trivia, as director Ben Winston blends the chat with footage of some of the best scenes of the show.
‘Friends The Reunion’
Among other cast members who make an appearance are Maggie Wheeler (Janice), Tom Selleck (Richard), and James Michael Tyler (Gunther), besides a host of celebrities such as Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga, Cindy Crawford, and Cara Delevingne making cameos appearances. That apart, BTS, Reese Witherspoon, Kit Harrington, and David Beckham address “Friends” fans through recorded messages.
Fans all over the world responded emotionally on social media watching the six titular friends return.
Just like everywhere else, Chinese millennials too were excited to see the ‘Friends The Reunion’ which as reports suggest has been a popular series in the country with Beijing, Guangzhou, and Shanghai having Friends-themed Central Perk cafes.
Seeing the excitement about the ‘reunion’ among the Chinese millennials, some of China’s biggest online streaming platforms bought the rights to broadcast the show.
However, when the 104-minute reunion special aired, fans pointed out that some of the much-talked-about scenes from the ‘Friends Reunion’ runtime were missing.
As per reports, the missing scenes featured guest stars such as the Korean boyband BTS, Lady Gaga, and Justin Bieber – all of whom have stirred up a controversy in China at some point in time. While a section of viewers concluded that the celebrities were censored because of previous negative headlines, there were also reports that LGBTQ subjects were censored. In fact, reports suggest that some nationalists on Weibo labeled the censored artists “anti-China”.
For the uninitiated, Lady Gaga was banned from touring in China in 2016 after meeting with the Dalai Lama. As for BTS, Weibo banned 10 accounts of the South Korean boyband’s fan clubs from posting for 30 days for “encouraging inappropriate behaviours, including cyberbullying and improper fundraising and voting.” Canadian singer Justin Bieber was banned from performing in China in 2017 for a “series of bad behaviours”.
According to a report in The Guardian, streaming platform iQiyi had six minutes missing from the original one hour and 44 minutes, whereas YouKu cut out about four minutes.
However, it is not clear whether these cuts were made by the streaming platforms as a precautionary measure or it was a directive from the regulators. Nonetheless, fans didn’t seem happy with the move and vented out their displeasure on social media.