Moviegoers in China have noticed that a kiss between two male androids, each played by Michael Fassbender, has been cut from Alien: Covenant, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
A total of six minutes have reportedly been cut from Alien: Covenant for Chinese release, but the removal of the kiss is said to be more jarring than the various cuts of the film’s violence.
Fassbender played an android named David in the 2012 film Prometheus and reprises the role in the new Alien film. He also plays a new android, Walter, who shares a sensual kiss with David. Earlier in the film, they have an intimate scene involving a recorder flute lesson, during which David flirtatiously tells Walter, “I’ll do the fingering.”
“Fassbender gets gayer than any actor I can remember in a major blockbuster, and he does it with himself,” Slate reports.
Alien: Covenant is also notable for featuring the first gay couple in the Alien franchise, but the characters, played by Demián Bichir and Nathaniel Dean, reportedly do not show much physical affection.
While China regularly censors graphic violence and gore, its removal of gay content has varied: Brokeback Mountain was famously denied a release, but Beauty and the Beast, with its much publicized “gay moment,” ran uncensored.