An American YouTube star has scandalized an Asian country with his antics—and this time, it’s not even Logan Paul’s fault.
It’d be hard to outdo Paul filming a dead body in the Japanese “suicide forest” last year in terms of international outrage. Still, YouTuber Bryan Quang Le, who goes by “RiceGum” on the social media platform, tried his best earlier this month on a trip to Hong Kong. The resulting video has roiled Chinese social media and earned an apology from Le.
In the video, Le and his sidekick, comedian “M2THAK,” terrorize Hong Kong residents on the street with the kind of overgrown-kid pranks that have earned Le more than 10 million subscribers on YouTube. They ask where they can find cat meat, and question a woman about whether she offers “happy endings.” In one particularly uncomfortable moment, the 21-year-old YouTube star hands an elderly Chinese man a half-eaten ice cream bar and pressures him into eating it.
“Is that dog or something?” Le asks at one point, peering into a restaurant window. “That shit is disgusting.”
Le and his friend bumped into bystanders on the street with their camera and touched strangers’ hands on an escalator.
“We making friends out here, you already know!” Le declares on the video, shortly after asking where he can find some “thots.”
But Chinese social media users weren’t in the mood for friendship after Le published the video of his trip. Chinese news sites covered the backlash to the video, with one noting that Le had “made a fool of himself.”
A copy of Le’s original video was uploaded to a Chinese video site and earned nearly 10 million views. The comment sections on Le’s own YouTube videos have filled up with angry comments from Chinese users.
On Tuesday, Le offered an apology — sort of. In a video entitled “Why China Hates Me…”, Le compared his jokes about dog meat to African-American comedians poking fun at stereotypes about fried chicken.
“I thought since I was Asian, I was allowed to make these Asian stereotype jokes,” Le said.
But, this being YouTube, Le also had some words for the haters.
“For anyone that’s hating on me, just stop, you guys are just giving me views,” Le said.