Comedian Tony Hinchcliffe is under fire after using racist slurs about an Asian stand-up comic who introduced him at an Austin comedy show. Peng Dang posted a video of the incident on Twitter on May 11, 2021. The video clip has sparked outrage on social media, including calls to “cancel Tony Hinchcliffe.”
After Dang, who is Chinese, introduced Hinchcliffe during a May show in Austin at the Vulcan Gas Company, Hinchcliffe took the stage and said, “How about one more time for the filthy little f****** ch*** that was just up here? All you f****** race traitors are hooping and hollering, I was back there watching you puking in a f***** bucket.” Hinchcliffe then used a fake Asian accent and said, “Oh, we make gunpowder. Oh, you want extra soy sauce. Oh, you borrow money from us.” Switching to his regular voice, Hinchcliffe said, “And you guys are just eating it up. You f****** p******.” The clip then ends.
Hinchcliffe has not addressed the controversy around his comments, but the controversy has already lead to consequences for the comedian. Antone’s nightclub in Austin tweeted, “we are no longer working with Tony or hosting any of his shows. Antone’s is strongly against hateful speech and racism of any kind.” He was also scheduled to perform with Joe Rogan at The Creek and the Cave in Austin on May 12, but the owner said on Facebook he will no longer be appearing and he has been removed from promotional materials on Instagram. And TMZ reports his talent agency, WME, will no longer be representing him.
Hinchcliffe, who is known for insult comedy and was a writer for the Comedy Central Roast series, is a frequent guest on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast and is part of the circle of comedians who perform with Rogan at The Comedy Store in Los Angeles. He relocated to Texas along with his “Kill Tony” podcast co-host Brian Redban and Rogan in 2020. Rogan has plans to open a comedy club in Austin with a goal of turning the city into a stand-up hub.
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Dang Said He Was Shocked Hinchcliffe Made the Jokes He Did, Because He Has Spoke Out Against Anti-Asian Hate Just Before Introducing Him
Dang posted the clip of Hinchcliffe on Twitter and wrote, “Last week in Austin, I got to bring up Tony Hinchcliffe. This is what he said. Happy Asian (AAPI) Heritage Month!” Dang has appeared at shows with Hinchcliffe in the past, including previously introducing him, according to his social media.
According to his website, Dang, “is a Chinese national who performs stand-up comedy in the U.S. He is a professional comedian, a member of Stars of Tomorrow, performing regularly at prestigious clubs such as The Improv Comedy Clubs and Hyena’s Comedy Nightclubs. … He was born and raised in China. He moved to Alabama to pursue a college education. Living in the South as a Chinese national gave him the early inspiration in comedy.”
Dang told TMZ, “I do not know his intention behind this. But I can tell you I’ve been in this country for almost 11 years. I lived in Alabama, Georgia, Texas, and I had never heard anybody call me that c-word. So I was very, very shocked when I heard it. … The ironic part, I just got off stage talking about, my whole set was about stop Asian hate. I had a whole chunk of jokes about stop Asian hate. And the audience was responding really positive to that. I was getting applause breaks and laughs. But when he said what he said some of the audience were visibly uncomfortable. Especially the female audience members. But I think the ones who were laughing are a very small portion of the audience.”
Dang told TMZ that Hinchcliffe continued his set and, “He said spent another two minutes talking about his Chinese jokes and he was bragging about one time he had a Chinese audience member confronting him about his offensive Chines jokes and he kicked out this Chinese audience member and then he made a joke saying, ‘This is what I call a Chinese takout.'” More of what Hinchcliffe said after Dang introduced him can be watched here:
In the longer clip, Hinchcliffe can be heard saying, “This f****** Chinese dude is standing right there, I’m like, ‘What’s the problem dude?’ These tables are all packed. He’s like, ‘You make fun of Chinese people, I’m going to beat you up.’ So I do 12 more minutes of Chinese jokes. Chinese jokes I never even had before. … ‘You’ve got to go back to your seat dude. This is how that f***** virus started, is people like you.”
Dang told TMZ, “As a comedian I can respect his profession, if that was just his set, if that was part of his act, I won’t say anything about it. What I had a problem with was when he used the c-word, the Asian racial slur, is what I mostly had problems with.”
Dang’s set can be seen below:
Along With the Social Media Uproar, Some Comedians Have Defended Hinchcliffe, Saying He Was ‘Not Being Serious’
The video clip posted by Dang has been viewed more than 1 million times on Twitter and YouTube, and instantly sparked outrage about Hinchcliffe and spawned the hashtag, #CancelTonyHinchcliffe.
Comedian Brooks Whelan tweeted, “Dude @TonyHinchcliffe you’ve always sucked. But this is next level even for you man. Bummer town.” Samantha Ruddy added, “In the coming days people will decry the backlash against Tony Hinchcliffe being cruel to his MC Peng as “cancel culture.” They’ll say nobody can take a joke. There was no joke. No misdirection. No wink. Just anger he has to share the stage with someone who isn’t a white guy.”
Jim Hews tweeted, “This is f****** enraging. I try to give comics I don’t know well the benefit of the doubt, even when they’re playing Edgelord. But @TonyHinchcliffe is a sad little boy. He should be f***** embarrassed. He’s lucky Joe Rogan is his stepdad or whatever’s going on there.” Zach Broussard added, “For the record, Tony Hinchcliffe will not make this year’s list of the Top 1000 Comedians for *BOTH* being racist *AND* not being funny. It has nothing to do with him looking like a little leaguer who went grey after being struck by lightning.”
Comedian and writer Guy Branum tweeted, “One of the weird fallacies in conversations about comedy right now is that pointing out how terrible this is assaults the purity of comedy and truth telling. These jokes are hack, this is bad writing. Paying audience should get more than you stealing material from a Klan rally. Shit like this is an attempt to marginalize comics like
@pengdangcomedy to the audience and industry, to ensure that white straight boys are the only viable stars and headliners. Before you worry about Tony getting cancelled, realize that Tony was working hard to cancel Peng.”
But some comedians have come to Hinchcliffe’s defense.
Luis J. Gomez tweeted, “Do people really think Tony Hinchcliffe was serious? He was obviously trying to be shocking and roast that dude. You can say you don’t think it’s funny but it’s not racism. Racism isn’t just a string of words. If you’re an adult, intent and context matter.”
Josh Denny added, “I like how there’s zero (context) included. I’m sure there’s more to this from @TonyHinchcliffe’s POV, otherwise it’s just HILARIOUS.”