Chinese broadcasters cut the whole BTS' segment from 'Friends: The Reunion'. The South Korean boy band was invited to the show's much anticipated reunion episode on May 27th. However, the Chinese platforms including iQiyi, Youku and Tencent didn't air their portion due to the band's Van Fleet Award controversy. Not only this, they deleted Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber and all LGBTQ+ scenes from the show as well. Scroll down to continue reading about it!
As the announcement for Friends' much awaited reunion was made, it was reported that the K-pop sensation, BTS will also be a part of the show. They had a 6-minute-long segment in the special episode where they talked about the show.
The group's leader, RM, mentioned that his favorite character was 'Chandler' while he considers 'Ross' and 'Monica' his English teachers. Unfortunately, this portion of the show couldn't get aired on Chinese streaming platforms.
This must be really upsetting for the fans because they were waiting for this moment impatiently!
It is speculated that the reason behind this could be the band's James A. Van Fleet Award controversy in China. Basically, in 2020, BTS were awarded the Van Fleet Award for their contribution in the promotion of US-Korea relationships.
During the acceptance speech, RM thanked the government and talked about 2020 being the 70th year of the Korean War that separated North Korea and South Korea. He honored and praised the sacrifices of the Korean soldiers and the women in the war.
This year’s Korea Society 2020 Annual Gala is especially meaningful as this year marks the 70th Anniversary of the Korean War. We will always remember the history of pain that our two nations shared together, and the sacrifices of countless men and women. After seventy years, the world we are living in is much closer than before, and boundaries and many aspects are getting more blurry than before.
As members of the global community, we should build deeper understanding and solidarity to be happier together. In pursuit of this cause, BTS will always remind ourselves of the meaning of the Van Fleet Award and keep doing our best in all that we do. Thank you very much.
However, it stirred up a controversy in China. The Chinese Netizens said that he purposely didn't mention the country and its contributions even though China faced the deaths of around 200,000 people. They found it insensitive and started attacking BTS and its fans.
It's a very complicated matter, but we wish that these differences get resolved between the band and the country.
Apart from this, the expected reason behind not airing Lady Gaga's segment is her meeting with Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader for Tibetan independence, in 2016.
Similarly, Justin Bieber's portion was cut due to his visit to Tokyo’s Yasukuni Shrine in 2014 which was established to respect and appreciate the efforts of Japanese soldiers from World War II.
Friends' was not limited to US only. it was loved and watched by a huge audience worldwide. This is why it kept going for 10 years, from 1994 to 2004. The fans were super excited for BTS' appearance on their favorite show, but the deletion of the band's segment came as a shock to them.
We hope that the situation gets settled down without causing any harm to anyone so that BTS and Friends' fans can enjoy their content wholeheartedly!
Share your thoughts with us in the comments below and check out the snippet from their segment at 'Friends: The Reunion'!