Chinese TV star Bi Fujian found himself in deep water after he was caught making jokes about Mao Zedong. China’s broadcasting authorities demanded that the CCTV star’s employer deal with the case seriously, and punish him for violating “political discipline.”
Bi Fujian was the host of Avenue of the Stars, and is one of the most recognizable faces on state broadcaster CCTV. While at a private dinner, he was filmed mocking Chairman Mao, who was the founder of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, and ran it until his death in 1976.
Chinese anchor apologizes for mocking Mao:
According to The Guardian, the video—which has been viewed more than 490,000 times on YouTube—shows Bi entertaining fellow diners with a rendition of a song from a Cultural Revolution era opera called Taking Tiger Mountain by Strategy.
The television host peppered his tableside performance with a series of sarcastic asides about Mao.
China TV host caught on video insulting Mao Zedong:
The song Taking Tiger Mountain by Strategy is a Mao-era song that dramatizes a 1946 incident where a soldier infiltrated and helped to destroy a group of bandits. In the video, Bi was seen singing a part of the song with his own lyrics. Here’s what he said:
“We are the peasant soldiers who have come to the deep mountains—come to the deep mountains to do what, eh?
“To vanquish the reactionaries—can you defeat them?
“Changing the earth and sky, several decades of revolutionary war in the north and south—it was tough enough.
“The Communist Party, Chairman Mao—Ugh, let’s not talk about this son of a bitch any longer, he’s caused us so much suffering.”
The YouTube video with Bi singing the song:
According to Aljazeera, the China Discipline Inspection Daily, a newspaper under the Party’s anti-corruption commission, said on Sunday that discipline inspectors found Bi in violation of “political discipline” for harming Mao’s image. The Chinese State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film, and Television ordered CCTV to deal with the matter “severely,” and to educate people within the broadcasting system.
Bi’s last statement on his Weibo microblog account was an April statement apologizing for the incident, saying that his remarks had “created serious adverse consequences… as a public figure, I must learn my lesson, and learn to have high standards and strict self-discipline,” wrote the BBC.
Even though Mao policies led to famine and the death of millions, and even though China officially acknowledges there were faults in Mao, he remains hugely respected, and insulting him or any other leader is a taboo.