Uncle Roger jokes about China and censors don’t see the funny side

Hong Kong

A Malaysian comic has been banned from China’s Twitter-like social media platform, days after he revealed clips from a stay present predicting his skits about Beijing’s closely censored politics and Chinese chief Xi Jinping would land him in hassle.

Nigel Ng, who performs beneath the persona “Uncle Roger,” final week posted a trailer of his new present on Twitter, through which he jokes about China’s surveillance state and begs the Chinese Communist Party to not “make him disappear.”

“Uncle Roger about to get canceled,” Ng wrote on Twitter final Tuesday alongside a clip of his present.

By Saturday his account on China’s extremely censored Weibo platform had been barred from creating new posts. A message on the web page mentioned Ng was blocked “due to the violation of relevant laws and regulations,” however gave no additional particulars.

CNN has reached out to each Ng and Weibo for remark.

Ng’s full stand-up present is slated for video launch on June 4, the anniversary of the bloody 1989 crackdown on democracy protesters in Tiananmen Square that may be a extremely delicate date for Chinese authorities.

His suspension comes at a time of renewed concentrate on how Beijing’s authoritarian management views comedy and cracks down on these deemed to have crossed political pink traces.

Last week a joke by Chinese comedian Li Haoshi that made a unfastened reference to the military sparked an enormous backlash from authorities, who fined the leisure firm he labored for extra $2 million and banned it from staging performances in main cities.

Police additionally launched an investigation into Li, who now faces the prospect of jail time. Li, who has canceled all his work, additionally had his posting rights taken away by Weibo.

02:12 – Source: CNN

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Ng, 32, shot to fame three years in the past with a video of Uncle Roger – an outspoken middle-aged man who speaks with a thick Malaysian-English accent – making fun of BBC Food presenter Hersha Patel’s manner of cooking Chinese-style egg-fried rice.

The video has now been seen 34 million occasions.

The sketch Ng posted on Twitter final week was filmed at his current stand-up tour, which broached extra political topics.

In one clip, after studying that an viewers member is from China’s southern Guangzhou province, Uncle Roger says China is a “good country.”

“We have to say that now, correct? All their phones listening,” he says, drawing laughter from the crowd.

He then says “long live President Xi,” earlier than joking about his “social credit score going up,” a reference to China’s social-engineering type venture that makes use of large information and a mix of rewards and punishments to incentivize good behavior.

To gasps from the viewers, he additionally tackles the topic of Taiwan, saying it’s “not a real country” and would “one day rejoin the motherland” – echoing the place of China’s Communist Party, which regards the island democracy as its personal territory.

He then asks the viewers member from Guangzhou to place in a great phrase for him with the authorities.

“Uncle Roger good comrades,” he quipped. “Don’t make him disappear please.”

It’s not the first time Ng, who was born in Kuala Lumpur and is now based mostly in Britain, has had a brush with China’s typically thorny politics – although on the earlier event he was criticized as toeing Beijing’s line.

In 2021, Ng took down a video that includes YouTuber Mike Chen after earlier remarks made by the Strictly Dumpling host on China’s human rights state of affairs got here to mild.

Ng apologized at the time, saying the video “had made a bad social impact” and he was not conscious of Chen’s “political thoughts and incorrect comments about China in the past.”

His method then drew large anger from activists who accused him of bowing to Beijing.

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