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    Quick-to-Quip Comedy Queen Called Out for Comments on Men

    Yang Li was accused of “insulting all men … and creating gender opposition” in her performances, but the comedian says they reflect people’s honest opinions.

    Yang Li likes to make jabs about men in her stand-up comedy routines — but this time, some are not laughing.

    The popular comedian is being called out on microblogging platform Weibo, with one particular user accusing her of being discriminatory against men in her jokes, according to a screenshot of a now-deleted post widely circulating online. The post accused Yang of “repeatedly insulting all men and preaching hatred, inciting internal conflicts among the masses, and creating gender opposition” in a variety show aired Friday on streaming site Tencent Video.

    The author of the post is even calling the National Radio and Television Administration to take action against the content of Yang’s jokes.

    Yang is among a new wave of female stand-up comedians trying to make a mark in a male-dominated field. Earlier this year, the 28-year-old comedian won praise for being outspoken about gender issues in her performances on the third season of hit online stand-up comedy series “Rock & Roast.”

    On Friday, Yang responded to a comment of hers which seemed to have angered many men after it went viral online. In one of the “Rock & Roast” episodes in August, she had posed a question: “Why can they look so ordinary, yet remain so confident?”

    “You guys are too hard to please,” she said during her latest show. “I say you are trash, you are definitely not happy; but if I say you are a good person, you feel that I am insulting you. Now I say you are an ordinary person, and you are still not happy.”

    “When I was telling Yang Mengen (another stand-up comedian) about this yesterday, he said: ‘You are testing men’s limits.’ I was surprised and asked, “Do men have limits?’” she added.

    Her sharp and sarcastic tone was not well-received by everyone and ruffled some of her fellow comedians’ feathers. A popular male comedian Chizi dissed her performance in a Weibo post, saying that “stand-up comedy definitely shouldn’t be like Yang Li’s.”

    But many of her fans disagreed.

    “I support Yang Li. Stand-up comedy should be diversified,” a user commented under Chizi’s post. “If even a little of women’s rights cannot be accommodated, then the domestic stand-up comedy industry has no development prospects.”

    Meanwhile, on her show Friday, Yang said the commentary on men in her performances appeal to many because they’re honest.

    “There is only one reason why a piece is effective: because it resonates,” she said.

    Editor: Bibek Bhandari.

    (Header image: A screenshot shows Yang Li during the year-end episode of  “Rock & Roast,” 2020. From @-杨笠- on Weibo)