Last night’s heartbreaking episode of The Last of Us featured a moment of hope and love where two characters kissed, cementing how they truly felt about each other. It was a key moment in the episode and was pulled directly from the source material. The kiss was also completely absent if you were watching the episode on OSN+, a streaming service out of Dubai.
Before we go any further, here’s the spoiler warning for folks who haven’t seen the episode yet or played the DLC it was based on. So leave now if you want to remain unspoiled.
In episode seven of HBO Max’s Last of Us series, the show goes a different direction. Instead of continuing the story of 2013’s The Last Of Us, this new episode adapts the DLC for that game, Left Behind, into a somewhat-standalone story that has thematic connections to the current series storyline. And just like in that beloved DLC, in last night’s episode, we see Ellie and Riley hanging out in a mall, playing an arcade game, dressing up in Halloween masks, and eventually, kissing. However, some viewers and Last of Us fans outside the U.S. were upset to see the iconic kiss between the two women reportedly cut from the episode.
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Kotaku has contacted OSN and Warner Bros. about the cut kiss.
Over in the Middle East and North Africa, The Last of Us is exclusively available on OSN+. And according to viewers on Twitter, the streaming service quietly and smoothly cut out the kiss between Ellie and Riley. One viewer even shared a video of the cut kiss compared directly to the way the episode plays out on HBO Max.
Fan reaction to the censored Last of Us kiss
Others tweeted about how upset and sad they were to learn the kiss had been removed. One viewer tweeted “I WAS WAITING FOR WEEKS FOR THEIR KISS I FUCKING HATE OSN.” Viewers also voiced frustration that this isn’t the first time OSN has removed LGBTQ content from movies or TV shows. In 2016, the network and streamer were heavily criticized by many online for cutting a gay kiss from an episode of How To Get Away With Murder. Some on social media also pointed out that the streamer had allegedly and recently cut a kiss from an episode of Game of Thrones spin-off House of the Dragon.
Read More: Bella Ramsey Responds To The Last Of Us Gay Backlash: ‘Get Used To It’
What’s confusing about this cut kiss in The Last of Us is that, according to viewers online, the streamer didn’t cut anything from the third episode of the show, which famously involved a gay couple.
Regardless of why the kiss was seemingly cut from the episode, it’s a disappointing example of how far we have to go and how so many people in this world are still unable to let people love whoever they want, regardless of sexuality. Hopefully, the remainder of the series is left intact for OSN+ viewers who deserve to see the show as it was intended and not censored.