• A screenshot from the gay drama 'Addiction,' which has been banned by the censor board in China.

A screenshot from the gay drama 'Addiction,' which has been banned by the censor board in China. (Photo : YouTube/J2SKYJ)

Chinese authorities have removed a popular gay-themed online drama titled "Addiction" from the streaming sites this week after 12 episodes. Audiences, who will now miss the last three episodes of the drama involving a homosexual relationship between two Chinese teenage boys, are enraged over the censorship.

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"Addiction," which debuted in late January this year, became hugely popular garnering over 10 million viewers. However, the show, involving the lives of four high school students portrayed by new actors, stopped streaming on various sites including v.qq.com and iqiyi.com on Monday, reported Global Times, a media outlet closely associated with the country's Communist Party mouthpiece, the People's Daily.

Chai Jidan, the series writer and producer, said that apparently there is no reason for removing the program. "It's a result of the broader environment," ifeng.com quoted him as saying. On the other hand, the Beijing-based production company issued an official statement on the Chinese social media platform Weibo, saying that the final three episodes can be watched on YouTube later this week. However, YouTube, like Facebook, is banned in mainland China.

Meanwhile, numerous nitizens have expressed their unhappiness over the censorship of "Addiction." Several fans of the gay romance drama took to their accounts on Weibo to articulate their frustration and anger towards China's censorship since the program was taken offline, Mashable reported.

While one infuriated fan wondered why the censor authorities blocked the online drama. "There are millions of reasons to cover their move, but the truth is that they are afraid of gay [issues]," the fan commented. Yet another fan condemned Beijing's State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SAPPRFT) for their decision to ban the show, writing, "The SAPPRFT is too much. Is it necessary? It's so unpopular."

While SAPPRFT has never clarified or published a list of things that can or cannot be broached, it has always maintained a tight grip on all forms of media, in addition to restricting access to foreign websites, AFP reported. China de-criminalized homosexuality in 1997, but there has been no change in the conservative attitude.

Interestingly, China's regulators were applauded last September when they approved the release of the French-Chinese film, "Seek McCartney," featuring gay characters portrayed by Chinese singer/actor Han Geng and French actor Jeremie Elkaim. However, this time, neither the Communist state nor the country's censorship board has made any official statement as to why "Addiction" has been pulled out.

Watch the video clip of "Addicted" series highlights behind the scenes 1107 below: