A Chinese stand-up comedian drew the ire of the country’s communist government when he joked about the military during a recent show, reportedly leading to his arrest.
Li Haoshi was indicted for the joke at the expense of the People’s Liberation Army and the company that hired him fined $1.2 million, The Washington Times reported.
“We will never allow any company or individual to use the Chinese capital as a stage to wantonly slander the glorious image of the PLA,” the Beijing arm of China’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism Bureau said in a statement this week.
Li was performing at the Century Theater in Beijing last week when he said he had two stray dogs since leaving Shanghai to move to the country’s capital. He then said the dogs chased a squirrel before moving on to the punchline.
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Haoshi and the company that hired him tried to distance themselves from the remark. On social media, Haoshi said he felt “deep remorse and regret” for using “extremely unsuitable analogy to bring bad feeling and association to the audience.”
Shanghai Xiaoguo Culture Media Co., the company troupe that hired Haoshi, terminated his contract and was fined $2 million.