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China Censors BTS, Lady Gaga, LGBT References in 'Friends Reunion'

Friends: The Reunion brought the cast of the hugely-popular sitcom back together along with guest appearances.

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1 min read
<div class="paragraphs"><p>Lady Gaga with Lisa Kudrow in Friends: The Reunion.&nbsp;</p></div>
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The Friends Reunion special episode in China was quite different. Appearances by Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber and the K-pop group BTS were dropped from different versions of the special when they streamed on Thursday on three Chinese video platforms, as per a report by The New York Times.

The missing cameos involved celebrities who had reportedly managed to irk Beijing. Lady Gaga has been forbidden in China since her meeting with the Dalai Lama in 2016. Justin Bieber made China angry when he posted a photo from the Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo, which honors Japan’s war dead, including war criminals from World War II, in 2014. On the other hand, BTS neglected to mention the sacrifice of China’s troops when recalling the pain of the Korean War last year, despite troops fighting on the North Korean side.

A number of Friends fans suspect this censorship to be the reason behind doing away with the guest appearances.

Friends: The Reunion, which was telecast on Thursday, brought the cast of the hugely-popular sitcom back together as they spoke about their friendship outside of the show, especially the time they've spent together since the last episode aired, and the things (sometimes literal) that they took with them from the show.

Lady Gaga and Lisa Kudrow sang her character Phoebe’s jingle 'Smelly Cat'. While BTS members recalled watching the show when they were young, Justin Bieber came dressed as 'Spudnik', as David Schwimmer’s character did in an episode.

(With inputs from The New York Times)

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