YouTube comic Amos Yee has been generating plenty of bad buzz from his satire video of Chinese New Year. In this Popspoken exclusive, Amos speaks out for the first time about his reaction to critics and his heavy American accent, plus that xinmsn article.
Retarded. Pathetic American. Banana kid. Fucktard.
We could really go on and on about the barrage of insults that have been hurled towards 14-year-old Amos Yee, but he could not care less. His video mocking Chinese New Year has been making its rounds on social media and has garnered some 164,000 views and 5,211 dislikes. It seems Amos has been somewhat silent since uploading that video but he firmly thinks that video is “satire done right”, in an interview with Popspoken on January 18.
Amos explains: “The video was great, intelligent and crafted well. I think that racially-sensitive people might be a little offended but the video was not an insult to Chinese; more of an intelligent joke of the festival. But I think most people are angry because of how different it is to Singaporean culture: the Americanised speech, a young person doing something prominent other than getting fantastic reults, and the exquisite genre of comedy.”
Take one listen at his videos and you can instantly hear a heavy American accent. Even in a behind-the-scenes video of one of his Star Wars skits, the accent is still there. True enough, it lessens considerably when Amos talks to his friend, but one does get the feeling he is not faking the accent 100%, despite public opinion about how un-Singaporean he sounds like. Ya, lor, like the opposite of sammydee.
When we asked if he feels he is Americanised, he clears the air: “I don’t think Americanised is the right term; more of accustomed to modern English. I follow the Lee Kuan Yew mantra proudly… Singlish is not recommended. I consider myself about 5% Singaporean and decreasing rapidly.”
Amos started making videos in late 2010, after his PSLE exams. In his autobiography, he writes about how he gained confidence after a lengthy reprimand by a teacher and how he first recorded a video from a $90 camera by his father. In the process, he has had 2 videos deleted by Youtube for allegedly containing sexual satire. He counts Shane Dawson and Nigahiga amongst his inspirations. Amos feels that his videos contain elements not found in a typical Singapore video “that could very well benefit our country”.
“To the haters, it is not that I didn’t do my research. It’s that I had an overload of research, so much so that I made people look at the festival with a different perspective. In my opinion, the haters are just hating because it is different and not because it is racist. And their incessant wailing of Hokkien vulgarities and repeated calling of gay (sic), kinda proved my inference right,” Amos speaks out against accusations hurled by netizens towards him.
“I think that if the video didn’t get Stomped and what not, people would have a more original outlook and more people will appreciate the humour of the video. This is Amos Yee saying, think for yourself.”
Amos was looking forward to receiving substantiated comments about his video, “but I haven’t got any of that, it was all just F words and vulgarities.” He says it is unfair that he gives substantiated reasons for his satire “but the people who dislike my video, don’t, and instead follow the popular opinion of hating the video.”
In a recent article by xinmsn, Amos criticised Jack Neo’s latest movie We Not Naughty and called it ‘freaking messy’. Amos tells Popspoken that he found the article to be ‘exaggerated’ and says matter-of-factly: “That’s the media in a gist. They asked to point out a flaw. I did so. We’ll just have to wait for the movie to come out and see. I personally like it.”
His parents are aware of his YouTube videos, “and they support thoroughly. They love the content, finding it witty and intelligent, though they would like me to improve on the visual style.” When we asked Amos if his parents were aware of this interview, he said no.
At first glance, Amos does look unperturbed by the haters, but a glance at his autobiography states his fear of releasing videos after a phase where he says he was “corrupted” by audience perception and visual style. Now that critics are all over him again, he does admit it will affect his future videos. When we asked if he will carry soldiering on or screw the haters, he says:
“The Chinese New Year video was classic Amos Yee. I love it and I hope I can continue expanding on the satire and Benjamin Urkel, and also my skits on Skitarama. And if you put it that way, then yeah I’m gonna screw the haters.”