Everyone is talking about HBO’s “The Last of Us” for its queer representation and iconic LGBTQ+ characters, but recently, fans are talking for another reason: the censorship of a queer kiss.
The most recent episode of “The Last of Us: Left Behind” showed a kiss between Ellie and her best friend Riley, but this scene was edited out in some regions.
Journalist Mohamed Khairat tweeted that the queer kiss scene was cut out of the episode in the Middle East and North Africa region on OSN+.
“The Last of Us’ ‘Left Behind’ episode is censored on OSN+ (MENA region), with one (pretty key) kiss scene cut out of it; and it absolutely makes no sense given ‘Long, Long Time’ ft Bill and Frank had no cuts,” Khairat tweeted.
“The cut is so smooth too and so unexpected given episode 3 was not censored that it left me thinking ‘that’s an odd departure from the video game by @hbomax/@Naughty_Dog’” he continued.
The cut is so smooth too and so unexpected given episode 3 was not censored that it left me thinking 'that's an odd departure from the video game by @hbomax / @Naughty_Dog'. https://t.co/Ea33PfanUj
— Mohamed Khairat (@khairatmk) February 27, 2023
This type of queer censorship is not unusual for certain regions, usually in the Middle East or Russia. Earlier examples of censorship include the MCU’s first gay kiss in the 2021 movie The Eternals was edited out in the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Lebanon, Iraq, Jordan, Ethiopia, Palestine, Syria, and Turkey. In 2022, references to Albus Dumbledore’s sexuality in the film Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore were also censored.
One of the most quotable scenes in recent television history, the “White Lotus” finale where Jenifer Coolidge’s character famously says “these gays, they’re trying to kill me,” was edited in Russia to “these men, they’re trying to kill me” earlier this year.
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