Is Uncle Roger banned in China? Fried rice comedian and YouTube star's Taiwan joke explained - who is Nigel Ng

The social media accounts of the self-proclaimed 'king of egg friend rice' have been banned in China due to a 'violation of relevant laws and regulations'

Comedian Nigel Ng, known for playing the comedic character of 'Uncle Roger' (Photo: Nigel Ng)Comedian Nigel Ng, known for playing the comedic character of 'Uncle Roger' (Photo: Nigel Ng)
Comedian Nigel Ng, known for playing the comedic character of 'Uncle Roger' (Photo: Nigel Ng)

The social media accounts of British-Malaysian comedian Uncle Roger have been suspended in China due to authorities' crackdown on comedians who mock the authoritarian regime.

The comedian, real name Nigel Ng, said over the weekend that his accounts on Weibo and Bilibili, where he has 400,000 followers, had been suspended because of a "violation of relevant laws and regulations."

Ng is just the most recent well-known performer who appears to have been singled out by Chinese authorities in a campaign against comedians. Those in the nation are subject to harsh punishment, though Ng himself is not in China.

As of yet, he has not made any specific comments regarding the account suspension, though both he and his followers have claimed it may have come about because of a video he had shared on western social media a few days previously.

Who is Uncle Roger?

Uncle Roger is a comedic character created by British-Malaysian comedian Nigel Ng, who gained international recognition through a viral video that was posted on YouTube in July 2020, in which he humorously reacted to a BBC Food video featuring chef Hersha Patel cooking egg fried rice.

Uncle Roger's exaggerated and comedic commentary, particularly his criticism of Patel's cooking techniques, resonated with viewers and quickly gained popularity, and following the success of the initial video, Uncle Roger became a recurring character in Ng's sketches.

His comedic style primarily revolves around reacting to cooking videos, critiquing cooking techniques and sharing his humorous commentary on various aspects of food preparation and culinary culture. In his videos, Uncle Roger often emphasises the importance of cooking rice properly and following traditional Asian cooking techniques.

He playfully mocks common mistakes made in cooking - Uncle Roger's distinctive catchphrases, such as "Aiya!" and "Haiyaa!", have become widely recognised - particularly when it comes to Asian dishes, such as the improper use of a rice cooker, using the wrong kind of rice or washing rice incorrectly.

Apart from his reactions and critiques, Uncle Roger sometimes collaborates with other food creators, chefs, or celebrities to create entertaining and informative videos.

He might participate in cooking challenges, recipe exchanges or comedic skits centred around food, and Ng's portrayal of the character has garnered a large and dedicated following on social media platforms.

Why has he been banned from Chinese social media?

Ng has not yet commented specifically on the account suspension, but both he and his followers have suggested it might be related to a video he shared on western social media a few days earlier, in which he pokes fun at Chinese surveillance and Beijing’s claims of sovereignty over Taiwan.

The video - a promo for an upcoming show was uploaded to his Twitter account with the description "Uncle Roger about to get cancelled." A few days later, he reposted the clip to YouTube. More than 8 million people have seen the two videos.

In the video clip, an excerpt from an undated stand-up performance, Ng (as Uncle Roger) asks an audience member about his origins. The man responds, telling Ng that he is from "Guangzhou, China". Ng grimaces and sheepishly replies, "Good country! "Good country!"

“We have to say that now, correct? All the phones listening … this nephew got Huawei phone, they all listening,” he adds. Ng then carefully taps his phone in his pocket and says "long live President Xi, long live President Xi … phew.” Then he scans the audience for visitors from Taiwan. “Not a real country" he says as the audience laughs, "I hope one day you rejoin the motherland."

Ng reposted the video to Twitter early on Monday (22 May), writing:“for some reason this clip got a ton of views this past weekend. I wonder why." He included a link to order tickets to his upcoming shows.

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