British-Malaysian comedian, TikToker, and online foodie Uncle Roger recently had all of his social media accounts in China suspended after a video circulated of him making a series of defamatory comments about the authoritarian communist country.
For those of you who might not be familiar with Uncle Roger, the content creator (famously known for his neon orange polo top) first gained online popularity after he began making YouTube videos criticising Westerners poor attempts at making Asian food—specifically egg fried rice. Most notably, he quite-rightly tore British chef Jamie Oliver to pieces for putting jam into his rice recipe…Since then he’s become a firm favourite among gen Zers for his hard truths and witty reviews.
The entertainer, whose real name is Nigel Ng, publicly informed his fans over the weekend that his accounts on websites Bilibili and Weibo, where he boasts an impressive 400,000 followers, had been suspended due to a “violation of relevant laws and regulations,” as reported by The Guardian.
The moment in question happened during one of Ng’s standup shows. Talking to a member of the audience, the comedian asked where the man was from, to which he replied “Guangzhou, China.” In response, the camera caught Ng making a scrunched up face and exclaim: “Good country! Good country.”
He went on to joke, “We have to say that now, correct? All the phones listening… this nephew got Huawei phone, they all listening.” Finally, Ng tapped at his phone and said: “Long live President Xi, long live President Xi… phew.”
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has always been overt and ruthless in its mission to silence anyone who steps out of line or criticises the party, its history, its policies or its leaders. As reported by The Independent, in 2021, China launched a hotline for citizens to report any online criticism of the CCP. This “snitching tip line” was only one facet of the extreme censorship and free speech crackdown that’s taken place in the country over the past few decades.
Interestingly enough, this isn’t the first time Ng has found himself facing pressure from the CCP.
In January 2021, the creator deleted a video he’d made with Chinese-born American food and travel YouTuber and outspoken critic of the communist party, Mike Chen. Ng went so far as to apologise to fans on his Chinese social media accounts for making the video with Chen and stated that he regretted making a bad “social impression.”
A lot of netizens, including Chen, felt as though the comedian was pandering too much to the CCP and that there had been no real need to remove the video. But, either way, it seems as though his feelings on the matter have slightly shifted.
Ng has yet made a statement specifically addressing the aforementioned clip of his standup routine, and whether or not that might’ve been the reason his accounts were suspended. However, this incident does reaffirm the lengths in which the CCP will go in order to maintain its chosen public narrative.