Bleeding Cool, a news site focused on comics and other pop culture, reported that the BBC censored a scene in Transformers: EarthSpark in which the character Nightshade discusses how they are non-binary:

In the recent BBC transmission of [the Transformers Earthspark cartoon], the discussion of pronouns is kept, but in Sam's line, "I know I'm safe when I'm with my friends or other non-binary people," the words saying "other non-binary people" have been removed, mid-sentence, in a harsh cut.

Is this true?

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    – Oddthinking
    Commented Jul 3 at 12:46

2 Answers 2


It is definitely true that the original includes a scene that has been indelicately removed from the version currently available on the BBC. This episode is available here in the UK, one can skip to 10:30. It is quite jarring; the background music also cuts out for a second after the words "my friends" and then returns with the next scene.

The presence of a missing conversation is confirmed in the subtitles available here.

or other non-binary people.


People who aren't female or male.

Oh, I'm sorry. I shouldn't have assumed.

I always knew my pronouns felt right, but what a wonderful word for a wonderful experience.

This season was first broadcast on July 25th 2023, starting with the first 10 episodes, this is episode 17 so would be expected some time after that. In May 2023 this story line caused controversy in the United States. It is plausible this cut was not made by the BBC, and I have not found confirmation one way or another.

  • 13
    @ComicSansSeraphim If true (you'll see why I have doubts), this is at odds with BBC stated policy and in stark contrast with recent episodes of Doctor Who. I'd like to know where the edit happened, was it a standard European-market edit, or a particular BBC one? Most likely not the latter I'd say. Unless there's been a marked volt face. Commented Jun 30 at 14:24
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    @F1Krazy - No information is available indefinitely. One could put some screenshots with subtitles in the answer, but since basically any image can be created these days, one does have to trust that the person who wrote this answer did their due diligence, as with any other answer here.
    – Obie 2.0
    Commented Jun 30 at 19:30
  • 2
    @JiminyCricket. there's follow-up news mentioning that it's not censored on Netflix UK, though it probably doesn't help to clarify the TV broadcast edition.
    – Andrew T.
    Commented Jul 1 at 15:21
  • 23
    One thing the OP could do in order to obtain an 'official' answer would be to contact Feedback on BBC Radio 4, who regularly answer questions exactly like this one - bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/1WbP92b6YbpP9j4mwwbtc9Q/… - and explicitly ask where the cut was introduced. As it involves a potential violation of the BBC's editorial policy, I suspect they'll answer it on air.
    – Landak
    Commented Jul 2 at 7:26
  • 2
    Assuming the BBC edited this ignores the possibility Hasbro/Nickelodeon edited the version they distribute to licencees because of May 2023 USA backlash Commented Jul 3 at 15:18

Yes they did, according to a reddit post by AnUnearthlyGay. The BBC responded to their complaint about this saying

a small section of dialogue was not included because it didn't provide the accuracy of language we need for our young audience, specifically a definition of the meaning of 'non-binary' which was given by one of the characters.

The definition given by one of the characters was, presumably

People who aren't female or male.

The BBC hav An A-Z of LGBTQ+ language for speaking to your child which includes


'Non-binary' is typically used when someone doesn’t identify exclusively as male or female, although the term is used by different people in different ways.

Some non-binary people may have an internal sense of gender identity that encompasses both genders, whereas others may have no internal sense of gender at all. Again, it’s fine to ask your child to tell you more about what this means to them and how they feel.

So the BBC appear to prefer a definition that encompasses a more inclusive, wider range.

The quoted BBC response goes on to say

We left in dialog where characters discuss their pronouns which makes it clear that they don't identify themselves according to binary gender beliefs.


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