TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- A Taiwanese YouTuber, publicly apologized on Monday (Jan. 8) on Facebook after being criticized by a British vlogger based in Taiwan for videos of him in blackface and in Nazi uniform.
On Jan. 5, a British vlogger based in Taiwan who goes by the handle Dr34mlucid, posted still images on his Facebook page of Taiwanese Youtuber Louis Li (李育群), 19, who goes by the handle 放火 (set fire) Louis, in blackface and wearing a Nazi uniform at a YouTube-sponsored event. Dr34mlucid criticized Li in Chinese and English for what he considered a racist depiction of black people and his poor judgment in wearing a Nazi uniform.
Dr34mlucid went on to criticize YouTube, for being "an alternate universe" in which his content is suppressed for not being "advertiser friendly," as he says they require manual checks due to his controversial content criticizing racism in Taiwan. Complaining that there is a double standard in YouTube's censorship mechanism, Dr34mlucid writes:
"YouTube in Taiwan does not only support symbols of oppression it promotes them, while at the same time it suppresses anyone who speaks out against racism."
In a video posted on July 31, 2017 titled "Princess-like experience," Li can be seen smearing Nutella on his face and excitedly saying that he feels black and shouts "Hey, what's up man!" In a particularly cringworthy section of the video, he then darkens the lights and sporadically laughs to reveal only his white teeth.
The video then cuts to Li rapping a line from the NWA rap song "F**k tha Police." The premise of the video was that he had read an article about smearing chocolate on one's face to help moisturize skin, and he decided to document his experiment on its effects after 10 minutes.
Images of Li wearing what appears to be a Nazi uniform and holding a toy rifle appeared on a YouTube video posted on Dec. 9, 2017 titled "Hundred-Thousand Year Celebration" (十萬年終歡樂會). In screen captures from the video, he appears to be standing on a podium winning some kind of award for best costume and writes "Hurry and say hello to the commander (heavens it feels like everyone is treating me like a saint)." The post received 33,000 likes.
Screen capture from Li's Facebook page.
An admiring fan then posted a comment on the post including an image of Li side-by-side with Hitler and saying "Hello Commander," which received 111 likes. Li responds by saying, "Come child and salute with me."
Screen capture from Li's Facebook page.
After a public furor over the video and photos ensued, Li issued a formal apology in both Chinese and English on Facebook on Monday, saying "I realize some of my previous behavior had offended people and set a bad example, and for this I am really sorry."
In response to his blackface video, Li said that he had been influence by Robert Downey Jr.'s blackface performance in the comedy "Tropic Thunder," and said, "I admit I did not think about or consider the full scope of the racially-insensitive negative impression that the video would leave on my audience." He then apologized to anyone who felt offended by the video.
In regards to the Nazi costume, Li said it was meant to be a practical joke to YouTube staff, but he had already started to have second thoughts and removed the Nazi swastika and nixed his original skit. He said the insignia itself had been confiscated by YouTube staff who "take these matters seriously."
Video in which Li can be seen wearing a swastika on his arm.
Li now realizes that the costume was inappropriate and said, "Nevertheless, I had acted stupidly, and for that I am sorry." Li then took stock of what he had learned from the incident, particularly the dark history behind the uniform.
"In the end, from this incident I feel I have gotten a chance to better understand the history behind this subject, and for that I am thankful - to better understand the limitations of my own perspective and knowledge against Western views."
Li acknowledged his heightened responsibility as a public figure and welcomed input from the public if they find any of his behavior offensive to the rights or interests of others. Li then closed by saying, "I hope everyone will not hesitate to correct me, as the deserving punk-ass 19-year-old that I am."
The latest incident is part of a pattern of Taiwanese teens dressing as Nazis, Arabs, Africans, or other ethnic groups or hate groups. Last week, two high school students in Kaohsiung were spotted wearing Arab robes and carrying toy machine guns.
On Dec. 24, 2016, the Presidential Office demanded a high school apologize to Israel after pictures emerged online of its students wearing Nazi uniforms and waving swastika flags, just two days before Christmas.