Asian-American YouTube star RiceGum is facing criticism after posting an “ignorant” video in Hong Kong where he asked local people where he could find “dog meat.”
Bryan Le, who goes by the name RiceGum online, has been accused of disrespecting Chinese people and their culture after the video in question went viral earlier this month.
In the video, titled ‘Why I Left The Clout House (im sorry),’ Le and his friend M2THAK are seen travelling around Hong Kong and bothering passers-by, asking them where they can find “cats” and “dogs” to eat.
“Oh yeah and, like, in China there’s always jokes about, like, Asians eating cats and dogs and, like, I’m in China and I’ve been kind of looking for the past hour, and I haven’t seen a restaurant or anything serving that,” Le said. “I’m confused because, like, I want to try. I’m always open to try new things.”
The video also includes Le asking people “Where the hoes at?” and inappropriately touching strangers’ hands as they ride the escalator. Near the end of the vlog, Le is seen asking a woman selling massage services whether she offers “happy endings.”
Since the video was posted, many commenters, both Chinese and English, have called out RiceGum for his disrespectful behavior, comparing it to Logan Paul’s similarly insulting vlog series in Japan.
“Disrespectful and absolutely ignorant. Have you never travelled to a new country before outside of the US?” one commentor wrote.
“You don’t even know the history and political background of Hong Kong. You just revealed your ignorance here and you are seriously mean and impolite. I bet you dare not do the same in the States,” said another.
After the backlash, Le posted a new video on his YouTube channel, responding to the criticism.
“Chinese people are hating on me right now, and it’s like, I’m Chinese also,” he said. “In the American culture, I watch like black comedians make jokes about black stereotypes.”
“White people make white jokes and hispanic people make hispanic jokes, and I thought because I’m Asian, I was allowed to make these Asian stereotype jokes.”
“Sorry to all the Chinese people, I wasn’t trying to be disrespectful,” he added. “And I want to come back soon, but I’m kind of scared now because the people may hit me and beat me up.”
However, people were unwilling to accept Le’s defense that the inappropriate content was acceptable because he himself is Asian.