Comedian and YouTuber Nigel Ng, better known as "Uncle Roger", has issued an apology on Tuesday, Jan. 12, to his Chinese fans on Weibo for his collaboration with a YouTuber who is known for his critical views of the Chinese government.
Apologised for video had "bad social impact"
Ng said in the statement, published in English as well, that he and his staff would like to express their "sincerest apologies to everyone" for the video had made "a bad social impact".
The video has been taken down from all platforms, he stressed.
Ng added that in the process of working on the video with Chinese-American YouTuber Mike Chen, whom he referred to as "the content-creator", he "wasn't aware of [Chen's] political thoughts and his past incorrect remarks about China".
Video was about dumplings
In the video, which can still be found on Facebook, both YouTubers had reacted to a dumpling-making clip.
Ng had jokingly dissed the American chef, King Phojanakong, for butchering the traditional Chinese way of making dumplings.
The "Uncle Roger" persona had first blown up on the Internet last July with a video of him dissing BBC Food presenter Hersha Patel's method of cleaning and cooking rice.
It had resonated with many Asians all over the world -- not just those in China -- for calling out incorrect ways of preparing Asian food by westerners.
Chinese fans praise Ng for taking a stance quickly
Most Chinese netizens praised Ng for making his stance on the matter clear quickly, and for taking the side of China over its critics.
"This apology came so quickly the popcorn booth was torn down even before I had my first bite of popcorn."
"I don't even know what happened."
"Uncle's political sensitivity is really high, we don't even fully know what happened."
"It's understandable I guess. You might not even know the political views of your colleague in the same department, much less a person you collaborated with once. Actually Uncle, if you didn't say, I wouldn't have known that this occurred."
"Good that you deleted the video. It's even better if you make an apology video. There is no place for pro-U.S. ideology in China, if we let this go, we will be letting down those who were poisoned by U.S. propaganda."
"Nigel himself has a pretty high political awareness, he even took down the video on YouTube, which shows he is unlike those two-faced people who behave differently within and outside the Great Firewall, and really likes mainland China. Most Malaysian Chinese are really friendly to us."
"There's someone crazy in the comments section who kept leaving comments that say Uncle Roger is a pro-U.S. trash when it was clearly the one he collaborated with. What does he (the commenter) want to do??"
"I knew this day would come when you opened a Weibo account."
Coerced to apologise?
Ng's apology, however, was slammed by some Twitter users who thought he caved in too easily for something that he did not even have to apologise for, in order to continue having access to the Chinese market.
Uncle Roger is based in the UK and he’s Malaysian. That’s even more chilling— Tony Lin (@tony_zy) January 12, 2021
Uncle Roger is apologising for working with a YouTuber who criticised the #CCP’s #TiananmenSquareMassacre— James Lee Proudfoot (@PhilosophyNook) January 12, 2021
And said he was “not aware of his... incorrect speeches about China”
He is disgracefully sacrificing his basic morality to pander to his China fans#UnsubscribeUncleRoger https://t.co/pMUmruircG pic.twitter.com/w1CuRtVXHg
I think we just found out why Auntie Helen left Uncle Roger.— Ray Kwong (@raykwong) January 12, 2021
CNN reporter James Griffiths also suggested that the speed at which Ng produced his apology statement, which was released even before there was considerable backlash on Weibo over the video, points to the possibility that a Chinese partner was behind the move, rather than Ng himself.
On his Weibo apology, most of the comments are people confused about what he's even talking about, which would seem to suggest that this was pushed by a Chinese partner, not social media backlash: https://t.co/MWvWdAkwuB pic.twitter.com/y9Aru2apVf— 𝕛𝕒𝕞𝕖𝕤 𝕘𝕣𝕚𝕗𝕗𝕚𝕥𝕙𝕤 🇭🇰🏴 (@jgriffiths) January 13, 2021
Chen asked Ng to do his "own research on the CCP"
Chen has since responded to the episode, telling Hong Kong Free Press (HKFP) that he hopes Ng could do "his own research on the CCP" to see for himself if Chen's remarks on China are really "incorrect".
"Living in the UK grants him that basic freedom, something not afforded to the millions under CCP rule," he added.
He also said Ng had not given him a heads-up before apologising and taking down the video.
Chen further said he thinks Ng was referring to his Instagram post on the 21st anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Incident, which Chen said the CCP tried hard to "cover up and erase".
Doubling down on his views about the Chinese government, Chen said: "For the record, I stand by all the comments I've made about the CCP."
Chen is known for his criticisms of the Chinese government, speaking out against issues such as the mistreatment of the Uyghur minorities and tough crackdown on pro-democracy activists.
Chen once responded to critics who accused him of being "against China", saying he actually loves the country, just not the Communist Party.
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Top image via Facebook & Weibo