Comedian investigated and comedy firm banned over inappropriate joke outcry

Zhang Chaoyan
Xiaoguo Culture Media has been banned from performing due to an inappropriate joke made by one of its comedians that caused public outrage.
Zhang Chaoyan
Comedian investigated and comedy firm banned over inappropriate joke outcry

An Shanghai outlet of Xiaoguo was closed after the incident on Tuesday.

Li Haoshi, a stand-up comedian who goes by the name House, is under investigation by police in Beijing over accusations that he insulted the military during a comedy performance.

The police have registered a case against him for this derogatory act, which caused a negative impact on society, Beijing police said in a statement.

Earlier today, Li's company Shanghai Xiaoguo Culture Media have been banned from staging performances in Shanghai after the incident that sparked online uproar.

The comedy troupe must suspend all performances in Shanghai immediately, the city's cultural authority said. Meanwhile, the company is urged to carry out internal management inspection and rectification.

"Xiaoguo must learn deeply from this incident and take practical measures to prevent the recurrence of such problems as content review, programme censorship, management of comedians and their ethics building," according to Shanghai Administration of Culture and Tourism.

The company is also urged to improve the political quality, cultural quality and morality of its stand-up comedians themselves.

During a performance on May 13 in Beijing, Li used a military comparison while discussing two chasing dogs in his act, which some found to be disrespectful to the military. The incident lead to an online uproar and prompted Xiaoguo to fire Li.

Beijing cultural and tourism bureau fined Xiaoguo 13.35 million yuan (US$1.9 million) and confiscated 1.33 million yuan of illegal gains.

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