The comedian behind “Uncle Roger” has apologised to Chinese fans and deleted a video featuring a fellow YouTube star who has voiced criticism of Beijing.

Update: YouTuber urges ‘Uncle Roger’ comic to research Communist Party

Nigel Ng, the UK-based Malaysian comedian behind the comedic persona posted a collaboration with Mike Chen of the “Strictly Dumpling” channel on Monday critiquing a dumpling recipe video.

“Uncle Roger” and Mike Chen. Photo: Screenshot.

But Ng had removed the clip by Tuesday and posted an apology to China’s Twitter-like Weibo, saying the video had created a “bad social impact” after multiple users reported it.

“My staff and I would like to express our sincerest apologies to everyone. Considering the seriousness of this issue and negative impact of the video itself, we discussed internally and decided to take it down… I wasn’t aware of his political thoughts and his past incorrect remarks about China. This is my negligence…” he wrote.

Ng added that he loved Chinese culture as he appealed for a “chance to improve.”

Tiananmen criticism

Chen has often criticised Beijing on Twitter, voicing concern over the treatment of Uighur minorities as well as opposition to the controversial Hong Kong national security law.

In a tweet from 2019, he said that “since the communist party took over, it has caused the deaths of at least 40 million people (probably much more) during the great famine.”

Last June, he expressed sympathy for those killed in the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre: “Today, on the 31st anniversary of Chinese troops opening fire on protesters in and around Tiananmen Square. The people of HK are facing a similar standoff over freedom, democracy and basic human rights.”

Ng shot to fame and gained over three million subscribers as his orange polo shirt-wearing Asian “uncle” caricature went viral last year.

‘Pandering’

Ng’s move attracted criticism on Twitter. One user wrote that the comedian was “disgracefully sacrificing his basic morality to pander to his China fans.”

“Uncle Roger” and Mike Chen. Photo: Screenshot.

However, another tweeted that she was bewildered over how “all these mainland Chinese voices keep storming platforms ostensibly banned in mainland China demanding that creators on them do or say specific pro-China things.”

Copies of the deleted clip – which did not contain any political references – remained live on Facebook and in YouTube “reaction” videos as of Tuesday evening.

HKFP has reached out to Ng and Chen for comment.

Additional reporting: Candice Chau.

Tom is the editor-in-chief and co-founder of Hong Kong Free Press. He has a BA in Communications & New Media from Leeds University and an MA in Journalism from the University of Hong Kong. He has contributed to the BBC, Euronews, Quartz, Global Post and others.