WARNING: This article contains spoilers for Alien: Covenant
Censors are prone to cutting any number of sequences from R-rated films before their release in Chinese markets, with the most regularly cut footage being explicitly gruesome depictions of violence. Considering the graphic scenes of blood and gore featured in Alien: Covenant, it's no surprise that six minutes had to be cut from the film, but the scene that surprised audiences the most is the scene where androids David and Walter, both played by Michael Fassbender, give one another a brief, yet tender, kiss.
Audiences who saw the edited version of the film felt it was quite jarring to have the footage removed, as the editing wasn't quite as seamless as other sequences.
With the amount of blood in the film, the average moviegoer might not notice the ways particular shots of violence were toned down, but with the kiss carrying much more narrative weight, the cut was very obvious.
"For the other missing parts, you don't notice or know when it happens, but you can really feel something is missing where the gay kiss is supposed to be," confessed 26-year-old audience member Yu, who revealed she had heard about the missing kiss and wanted to see if she noticed where it had been cut.
The latest in the Alien franchise isn't the film to have received the most cuts from Chinese censors this year, with Logan having 14 minutes cut and Resident Evil: The Final Chapter having eight minutes removed, both due to their extreme depictions of violence.
The removal of this scene from the film is quite inconsistent with the country's rules and regulations for censorship. Earlier this year, Disney's Beauty and the Beast was released without the film's "gay moment" removed from the film.
A decade ago, however, the critically praised Brokeback Mountain, featuring a love story between two cowboys with multiple sex scenes, was prohibited from release completely. Making the matter all the more controversial, Brokeback Mountain had been directed by Ang Lee, who was considered a star director at the time of the film's release.
Alien: Covenant is now in theaters.
SYNOPSIS: The crew of the colony ship Covenant, bound for a remote planet on the far side of the galaxy, discovers what they think is an uncharted paradise, but is actually a dark, dangerous world. When they uncover a threat beyond their imagination, they must attempt a harrowing escape.