Friends has been re-released in China with an array of scenes being censored to remove LGBTQ+ issues and topics.

The show’s first season arrived on numerous Chinese streaming platforms, such as Tencent (0700.HK) and Baidu’s IQiyi Inc (IQ.O), to name a few, on 11 February.

It marked the first time in several years that Friends has been released in the country, though fans of the sitcom quickly noticed some differences to the show they originally watched.

This included the removal of LGBTQ-related content, as well as mistranslations of what cast members were saying.

A scene where Ross (David Schwimmer) discusses his lesbian wife was totally removed, Reuters reported.

Another which showed Joey (Matt LeBlanc) discussing attending a “strip joint” was changed to “go out to play” on the version shown to Chinese audiences on the Tencent Video platform.

Conversation about the altered Friends quickly went viral on China’s social media platform Weibo, which saw it become a “hot search topic” on 13 February.

Despite this, hashtags relating to the issue were displayed as having no or limited results, suggesting those censoring the content may have extended restrictions to social media.

Friends is one of the most popular television shows ever made, with its final episode being watched by around 52.5 million people in America – making it the fifth-most-watched series finale in TV history.

It ran for 10 seasons and 236 episodes from 1994 to 2004, with its original cast members returning for a reunion special on HBO Max in May 2021.