Headlines From China: Why China Scrubbed Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, and BTS From the ‘Friends’ Reunion

Why China Scrubbed Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, and BTS From the “Friends” Reunion

The Friends reunion episode that aired May 27 was something of a blockbuster: It “was watched by an estimated 29% of U.S. streaming households on May 27, the first day of its release, as measured by TVision, a connected-TV analytics provider,” Variety reported. But if you watched the special in China, you saw a slightly different version. Celebrity cameos and appearances by Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, and famed K-pop group BTS were censored across Chinese platforms. Lady Gaga was added to the Chinese Communist Party’s list of banned singers following her meeting with exiled Tibetan leader Tenzin Gyatso, the Dalai Lama. Read more SLATE

China Orders New Cinema Closures Amid Rise in COVID-19 Cases

China has shuttered a portion of cinemas in top movie-going province Guangdong after what reports said may be the country’s first community outbreak of the Indian COVID-19 variant. Reports did not state exactly how many cinemas have been affected. Cinemas and other indoor entertainment venues remain limited to 75% their max capacity in Guangzhou’s lower risk districts, as they are elsewhere in the country. The theater closures are thus not likely widespread enough to significantly impact upcoming box office figures, as long as the outbreak remains contained. Read more Variety