HONG KONG — The wildly standard sitcom “Buddies” is again on China’s best-known streaming companies, however with some huge modifications to the script.
Within the newest Chinese language model, when Ross tells his mother and father he has cut up from his spouse, he doesn’t clarify the explanation: She is a lesbian residing with one other lady, is now pregnant and plans to boost the infant along with her accomplice. As an alternative, the scene merely cuts to his mother and father’ surprised faces, and the plotline ends there.
There are different, extra delicate modifications to the present, too.
Joey’s suggestion of a visit to a strip membership is translated in Chinese language subtitles as “going out to have enjoyable.” When Paul the Wine Man tells Monica, “I haven’t been in a position to, uh, carry out sexually,” the subtitle says that he has been in “low spirits.” A lament by Rachel that she is extra “turned on” by a gravy boat than her fiancé is translated as Rachel being extra “blissful to see” tableware.
The modifications have prompted biting commentary on social media from the present’s many Chinese language superfans, who mocked the prudishness of censors and mentioned the alterations strengthened gender stereotypes.
“Buddies” is the most recent instance of overseas leisure being rewritten in China, because the nation embraces extra conventional gender roles below its chief, Xi Jinping. Officers have gone as far as to ban portrayals of effeminate males on tv.
Even earlier than the rules went into impact in September, Chinese language censors had already been arduous at work. Within the Chinese language model of “Bohemian Rhapsody,” the Queen biopic, an important scene through which Freddie Mercury, the band’s lead singer, tells his fiancée that he’s homosexual was removed.
The Communist Occasion wields monumental energy over the leisure enterprise, bending it to provide the narratives it desires to advertise. In January, censors modified the top of the film “Battle Membership,” changing a scene through which a collection of buildings had been destroyed with a message saying the trouble had been thwarted by police, though the original version was soon restored after a large outcry.
That transfer got here after a a lot anticipated “Buddies” reunion episode final yr was missing cameos from Woman Gaga, Justin Bieber and BTS when it aired in China as a result of these celebrities had in some unspecified time in the future offended the nation’s leaders.
“Buddies” is vastly standard in China, the place at one level many main cities had look-alikes of Central Perk, the cafe that was a gathering level for the present’s characters.
Viewers in China had been ready watch the present in an uncensored format over the previous decade, however followers of the present are actually restricted to an formally edited model that’s streamed on a number of platforms.
Superfans have been fast to level out omissions or modifications in censored episodes and debated the explanations for the cuts.
The hashtag #FriendsDeleted was considered greater than 54 million occasions on the Chinese language social media web site Weibo over the weekend, based on a CNN report. By Monday, it had been eliminated.
“Principally they don’t need the ladies in their very own nation to be woke up,” one individual wrote on Chinese language social media. “They don’t need them to know girls can love girls. In any other case who will assist the lads to hold on the household line.”
One other commentator identified that the writers of “Buddies” helped to normalize the L.G.B.T.Q. neighborhood with the episode. “And that is one thing that ‘Buddies’ managed to do in 1994,” they wrote, questioning why homosexuality was being censored in China a long time later.
Solely the primary season of “Buddies” was made out there by way of on-line streaming platforms in China earlier this month, and plenty of viewers within the nation had been already joking about what different scenes could be eliminated as future episodes turn out to be out there.
One individual puzzled how the censors would deal with the season through which Phoebe turns into a surrogate mom to her brother. One other quipped that they had been keen to wager the equal of $15 that the episode through which Monica, Chandler and Rachel focus on seven elements of a girl’s physique for pleasure could be deleted.
“I wager 100 yuan,” the individual wrote on Weibo, the Chinese language social media platform. “That ‘Seven Seven Seven’ is totally deleted.”
Cao Li and Li You contributed analysis.
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/14/enterprise/china-friends-censored.html In Chinese language Model of ‘Buddies,’ Ross’s Lesbian Ex-Spouse Goes Lacking