The newest episode of HBO’s The Last of Us was reportedly censored for some of the show’s audience, a move that has yet to be explained by those involved with the series. This post contains big spoilers for The Last of Us.
The Last of Us episode seven, titled “Left Behind,” adapts the game’s expansion of the same name and follows the story of Ellie (Bella Ramsey) and Riley (Storm Reid) before the events of the main show. It was another strong episode, culminating in a kiss between Ellie and Riley. Viewers in some regions, however, apparently didn’t see the smooch. Reports on social media suggest that the kiss was edited out for the show’s local streaming partner, OSN+, in the MNEA region.
OSN+ was previously criticized for editing out gay romance scenes from How To Get Away With Murder and House of the Dragon. As others have pointed out, this newest instance of censorship was strange in part because a previous episode of The Last of Us, “Long Long Time,” was reportedly not edited at all on OSN+. That episode was focused nearly exclusively on the gay romance between Bill (Nick Offerman) and Frank (Murray Bartlett).
You can see HBO Max vs. OSN+ versions of the Ellie/Riley kissing scene below, as shared by viewers on social media. GameSpot has contacted HBO in an attempt to get more details.
In a behind-the-scenes video (watch it above), writer Neil Druckmann said the kiss between Ellie and Riley was a key storytelling moment. “Ellie gets to experience first love. First kiss. And then we snatch it away from her,” Druckmann says about the chaos and sadness that immediately follows their first kiss.
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.#TheLastOfUs pic.twitter.com/jPCcT20txE
— Mohamed Khairat (@khairatmk) February 27, 2023
The Last of Us is putting up big-time viewership numbers for HBO, so it came as little surprise when the network announced that the show had been renewed for a second season. Season 1 will cover the events of the first Last of Us game, with the rumor being that Season 2 will follow the story of The Last of Us: Part II and introduce new characters, including Abby.
The Last of Us Episode 8 airs this Sunday, March 5, with one more episode to come on March 12 to wrap up Season 1. Among other things, Episode 8 will introduce a new character played by Troy Baker, the actor who portrayed Joel in the video games.
As for The Last of Us game series, Naughty Dog is developing a multiplayer Last of Us game, and more details are expected to be divulged this year. Beyond that, Naughty Dog has said it might not make The Last of Us: Part III, but nothing is decided yet.
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