The comedian behind viral phenomenon “Uncle Roger” has said he wanted “no politics, no drama” in his latest video after facing a backlash for apologising to Chinese fans and deleting a video featuring a fellow YouTube star who was critical of Beijing.

Nigel Ng issued an apology last Tuesday on China’s Twitter-like Weibo platform for the “bad social impact” created by his video collaboration with YouTuber Mike Chen, who has often voiced criticism of Beijing.

Nigel Ng’s latest video. Photo: Screenshot.

UK-based Ng released a new video on Saturday without directly addressing the incident, but said that he wanted to “keep making funny videos – no politics, no drama.”

Before the release of his latest clip, Ng – a Malaysian – had remained silent, only posting an Instagram story post saying that he was not “bowing down to anyone,” adding that his critics could just unfollow him.

Nigel Ng’s response to backlash against him. Photo: Nigel Ng, via Facebook screenshot.

“I know there are many posts on there right now with with many negative drama, politics thing, but Uncle Roger want the subreddit to be nice fun positive place,” said Ng in the new video, adopting his “Uncle Roger” character.

Chen runs the food-related “Strictly Dumpling” channel, but has often criticised Beijing on Twitter and Instagram, voicing concern over the treatment of Uighur minorities as well as opposition to the controversial Hong Kong national security law. “Although their video collaboration did not mention politics, Ng told Weibo users that he had deleted it: I wasn’t aware of his political thoughts and his past incorrect remarks about China. This is my negligence…” he wrote at the time.

Chen told HKFP Ng had snubbed him, recommending that he research the Chinese Communist Party.

‘Ironic’

Ng faced another flood of criticism across social media following the release of his latest clip, with some slamming him for his differential treatment towards mainland Chinese fans and his international audience.

“I found it ironic and [hypocritical] of him calling the backlash ‘you don’t like it, unfollow.’ Yet to his China fans, when they were angry, he said ‘sorry.’ Two same scenarios, but different response given,” a netizen commented on his subreddit. “This already shows he is kowtowing, yet he still denies it. Regardless of what Mike Chen opinions [are], the video has no mention of anything political or cult related things So there is no logical reason to delete the video, unless it is to pander to China fans.”

Another comment in his YouTube video read: “As a Malaysian, I thought since there is no political content with Strictly Dumpling in previous video, that video shouldn’t be put down as a result of the guest’s views in non cooking related topics. That’s how you respect your guest.”

However, some netizens were sympathetic to Ng, saying that they could understand why he had to delete the video: “Please hang in there and see all the hate, drama, controversy as bitter medicine. I believe that you are able to grow and learn from this situation, and gradually become a stronger person,” a reddit comment read.

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

Ng did not respond to HKFP for comment.

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Candice Chau

Candice is a reporter at Hong Kong Free Press. She previously worked as a researcher at a local think tank. She has a BSocSc in Politics and International Relations from the University of Manchester and a MSc in International Political Economy from London School of Economics.