Li Haoshi, better known as “House” is facing consequences after joking about the People’s Liberation Army or the (PLA), China’s principal military force. In China, politics are taken seriously and Li learned exactly how serious things could get. This situation might make some of us appreciate our freedom of speech. While performing at the Century Theater in Beijing over the weekend, Li used a phrase associated with the PLA.
The Beijing Municipal Bureau of Culture and Tourism stated that the entertainment company that represents Li will be fined $1.91 million, and will have to owe $189,000 for two live gigs Li played last weekend. In addition to the fines, the company can longer hold any performances in Beijing.
As things intensified, Li canceled all of his performances. He is subject to further investigation alongside his staff and team. The government accused Li of “seriously insulting” and “causing bad social impact”.
So what did Li Haoshi say?
During the show, he talked about how he adopted two stray dogs. He eventually landed on a punchline stating, “Fine style of work, capable of winning battles“. This slogan is historically well-known by the Chinese Communist Party and is used to refer to the PLA.
Police in Beijing described that Li’s show contained “a plot amounting to a serious insult to the People’s Army and causing a bad social influence. They went on to say “We will never allow any company or individual to wantonly slander the glorious image of the People’s Liberation Army on a stage in the [Chinese] capital, never allow the people’s deep feelings for the soldiers to be hurt, and never allow serious subjects to be turned into an entertainment“.
Li took to his social media platform Weibo and stated, “I will take all the responsibility and call off all my performances to deeply reflect and reeducate myself”.
Xi Jinping is obviously showing no mercy when it comes to playing with his military.
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