Company Fined $2M Over Comedian's Joke

Li Haoshi used Chinese military slogan while telling story about adopted dogs
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted May 19, 2023 12:00 AM CDT
Chinese Comedian Arrested After Joke About Dogs
Chinese sailors form up near heroic statues at the Military Museum in Beijing, Friday, April 28, 2023.   (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

A Chinese comedian could go to prison over a joke about his dogs. Li Haoshi, whose stage name is House, was arrested after a performance over the weekend in which he talked about the stray dogs he adopted chasing a squirrel, the BBC reports. "Other dogs you see would make you think they are adorable. These two dogs only reminded me of, 'Fight to win, forge exemplary conduct,'" he said during the Beijing show. The line he quoted is part of President Xi Jinping's 2013 slogan for the Chinese military. In audio shared of the performance, the audience can be heard laughing loudly at the joke, the Guardian reports. But at least one audience member complained.

Li was also suspended from Shanghai Xiaoguo Culture Media, the company that represented him, and the entertainment firm was fined more than $2 million, CNN reports. Li said on Weibo—before his account on the social network was suspended—that he was "deeply guilty and regretful" about the incident. "We will never allow any company or individual use the Chinese capital as a stage to wantonly slander the glorious image of the [People's Liberation Army],” the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Culture and Tourism said. Li could end up being sentenced to jail for insulting the military. (More China stories.)

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