China has fined a comedian’s company nearly $2 million after he made a joke that some considered mocking the military.
Several outlets reported Wednesday that the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Culture and Tourism has fined the company of popular comedian Li Haoshi, who uses the stage name, for comments he made during a performance this weekend.
In his appearance, Lee mentioned that he had adopted two stray dogs that he had watched chasing a squirrel. He said the scene made him Think of a phrase he uses by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) which roughly translates to “Fight Well, Win the Battle,” according to Reuters.
Audio released on Chinese social media shows the audience laughed in response, but an audience member filed a complaint, and the joke quickly received criticism for being disrespectful.
Li was suspended from Xiaoguo Culture Media in Shanghai, which represented him, and his account on Chinese social networking site Weibo was suspended after he posted an apology, saying he felt “deeply guilty and remorse”.
CNN I mentioned that a subsidiary The company was fined $1.91 million and would have to forfeit $189,000 in “illegal gains” from Lee’s performance.
The office said Lee, his agent and other concerned staff would face additional investigation after the “seriously insulting” comments caused “an adverse social impact”.
“We will never allow any company or individual to use Chinese capital as a stage for wanton smearing of the glorious image of the People’s Liberation Army,” she said.
The phrase Li referred to during his performance was first used by Chinese President Xi Jinping in creating the qualities he expects from the military, according to CNN.
China Adopt a law to prohibit defamation from the Army in 2021.
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