China fines $2 million for army comedian Li Haoshi’s prank

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May 18, 2023 | 2:49 p.m


Now that’s tough crowd.

Chinese authorities have issued a $2 million fine after a professional comic compared its adopted stray dogs to the authoritarian government’s army.

Li Haoshi, who is performing under a stage name, jokingly made a reference to a slogan used to describe the People’s Liberation Army coined by Chinese Communist Party leader Xi Jinping.

“Good business style, capable of winning fights,” he said of dogs searching for a squirrel during his performance at the Century Theater in Beijing this weekend.

However, the seemingly harmless joke prompted hard-line officials to slap the arm of Shanghai Xiaoguo Culture Media representing Li, fining Li $1.91 million and saying she could not collect the $189,000 in “illegal winnings” the comedian earned on his two shows over the holiday. weekend. .

Beijing organizers said in a statement, and also called on the entertainment industry to “correct their creative thinking.”


The huge fine imposed on Li Haoshi underscores that high-profile comedians must tread in China’s tightly controlled and tightly controlled entertainment industry.

Xiaoguo Culture attributed the unpatriotic humor to “major lapses in management” and terminated the contract of Li, one of the nation’s most popular performers.

Her comedy troupe has been suspended indefinitely from performing in Beijing.

A separate police investigation into Li was opened Wednesday after authorities said he had “severely insulted” the military and caused a “bad social impact”.

He said in a statement on Monday that Lee canceled his upcoming shows so he could “think deeply and re-educate me.”

In 2021, China passed a law banning any insult or slander against the military.

The law had previously been used to sentence a reporter who questioned China’s role in the Korean War to seven months in prison, According to CNN.

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Chinese soldiers of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army at a ceremony in Beijing in 2020.
Getty Images

Also arrested on Tuesday was a Chinese woman who took to social media to question Li’s sentence in a post that referred to soldiers carrying a dog emoji.

“blasphemy will not be allowed for the dignity of military personnel,” the police reportedly said in a statement.

with wire




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