Chinese censors have axed a same-sex kiss from Alien: Covenant.
The big-budget movie, which was released in China on Friday, faced a total of six minutes of cuts – most of this was due to graphic violence and gore, which the country’s censors are notoriously strict on.
But movie-goers have also reported that a heavily-publicised same-sex kiss between identical cyborgs David and Walter, both played by Michael Fassbender, has also been left on the cutting room floor.
Yu, a 26-year-old assistant at an advertising agency in Shanghai, who saw the movie with friends on Saturday night, told The Hollywood Reporter that the omission of the kiss had a negative effect on the movie.
“For the other missing parts, you don’t notice or know when it happens,” she said, “but you can really feel something is missing where the gay kiss is supposed to be.”
Alien: Covenant also featured a married same-sex couple for the first time in the series’ history, but aside from an online-only prologue to the movie, their relationship was largely left unexplored on the big screen.
China has a history of heavy censorship, especially when it comes to LGBT+ representation.
In March last year, the country issued a ban on same-sex couples and other “abnormal sexual relationships” appearing in TV shows, placing homosexuality on a list alongside incest and sexual abuse.
A recent survey found that only 5% of China’s LGBT+ population have publicly come out, and only 15% have disclosed their sexual orientation or gender identity to their close family members.
That same survey also found that only one in three Chinese people would be comfortable getting close to an LGBT+ person, and that two in three would not accept their child being transgender.