14-year-old Singapore Filmmaker/ Actor Amos Yee Insults Chinese New Year with Thick American Accent in Video

Amos Yee  Showing Off
Amos Yee Showing Off

This is what happen when you fan the ego of a little boy too much and leave it unchecked.

Last year, Zhonghua Secondary School student, Amos Yee was the winner of both the Best Actor and Best Short Film awards at The New Paper’s inaugural FiRST Film Fest for his film, Jan, a funny, witty entry about a boy desperately trying to cajole his three friends to help a girl who has cancer:

This year, his mentor from the FiRST Film Fest, Singapore’s top box-office director, Jack Neo gave him a small acting role in his upcoming Chinese New Year movie, We Not Naughty 《孩子不坏》. Instead of being grateful for the exposure, the boy ranted off and criticised the movie at a press conference:

“Do you realised that the film has a lot of fade in and jumps from scenes over and over and over again,” the Zhonghua Secondary School student said and added, “That is confusing.”

That’s not all. On the development of the characters in the movie, he said, “You can do it at the beginning but it goes on for the entire film.”

“And that bothers me,” he revealed, “and my whole family agrees that it’s freaking messy.”

Then he made this stupid video insulting Chinese for “copying American New Year” by celebrating Chinese New Year:


I bet this boy gets fail grades for his history.

The world now adopts the Gregorian calendar (also known as the Western calendar, or Christian calendar) as  the internationally accepted civil calendar. However, this do not mean that the 1 January we know of is the only marker for a new year.

Does Amos know there’s another lunar calendar for the Chinese?

Does Amos know there is also a Hijri calendar (or Muslim calendar or Islamic calendar) as well as many other different calendars for other cultures?

Does Amos know that the Chinese lunar calendar can be traced back to during the Shang dynasty(1766-1123 B.C.) while the current Gregorian calendar has only been in existence from the 15th century?

Technically, the Westerners “copied New Year” from the Chinese by Amos’ logic. This is really besides the point because with globalisation, people from around the world are learning to accept, respect and sometime tolerate others’ culture and practices.

It is sad enough that Amos, as a young Chinese boy do not embrace his own heritage; what’s worse, choose to denounce and poke fun of it publicly for the world to see.

There’s a Hokkien saying which should be conveyed to Amos: “Kiang Jiu Ho, Mai Kay Kia” (yes, you may be smart and talented, but you don’t have to overly flaunt it till you make yourself look stupid).

[Update: 21 Jan 2012] Mr Brown made a spoof video dedicated to Famous Amos:


42 thoughts on “14-year-old Singapore Filmmaker/ Actor Amos Yee Insults Chinese New Year with Thick American Accent in Video”

  1. Oh dear, I was prepared to tolerate that coz I mistakenly thought he was only 10 years old or less. Ok, at 14 and still so uneducated is not very acceptable.

  2. No wonder LHL worries over future generations of ministers. I see this kid + all the other Gen Z fiasco…. I think I better retire elsewhere next time o.0

  3. he’s going to later say, “o, i was misunderstood and taken out of context (cus my emphasis was that the non-chinese enjoy the chinESE neeeuu year just as well” too?
    o man. even his award winning thing is irritating. WAHKAO.

  4. as si ginnah as the video portray, i think he is acting for american audience. he probably has a lot of american subscribers & commentators that he just wanted to ride in the popularity of ENTERTAINING his american audience. I kinda think he just wants to be like Peter Chao or Dee Kosh – sort of like riding on the success of youtubing that sort of thing. 小孩子 ‘假厉害’ 讲的话,不用太认真。lolol

  5. My initial gut reaction was to type a similar comment about the young punk but then I remembered:

    1. I probably did and said dumb things when I was 14 – don’t remember, that was a really long time ago.
    2. If we keep on adopting this kind of attitude towards our youngsters, they’re probably are going to have their creative spark kicked out of them before it has a chance to evolve into something better.
    3. There’s a reason why America is still ahead of us in being innovative and creative – because they don’t do shit like that to their kids.

    So I think that you Singaporeans should hang your heads in shame.

  6. If anyone is the American rip off its Amos himself. He’s a disgrace to the Chinese race and Singapore. Pride and arrogance never got anyone anywhere except it be their downfall.

  7. Can you guys – who are MUCH older and mature behave and show a better example? How does F-ing complaining and ranting online here IMPROVES anything? Let me guess, that’s what SGians are good at right? Stomping and just poking fun at people who is “not acceptable” – It’s clearly shown in the GE, STOMP, Politics, YOG, NS and PE. Be more gracious, take things with a pinch of salt and PLEASE…. if you have nothing good to say, why post such negative comments.

    This video is NOT a history lesson – like his many other videos which pokes and make fun of Justin Bieber, harry potter and OTHER topics: It’s all in the name of fun – so seriously put on a smile!

  8. Oh well, he’s just a kid after all. Life will eventually catch up with him and teach him a thing or two.
    He will grow up and discover change.. Loose his age of innocence and mature like everyone else.

  9. Dude doesn’t he say in the video, “I know that’s not what really happens.”? And you went on a whole spiel about how he’s stupid or whatever. He’s just trying to be funny!

  10. Eh, well done on this post, I was searching for article about this brat just to see other people’s reaction toward his video. Some says he is just trying to be funny while others are enraged. My say, there’s always a limit in trying to be funny. Actually, one can always be funny without sparking rage, but that’s just my opinion.

  11. For the record, he was being satirical. It came out a bit wrong, but everyone who has been young once has made mistakes. So unless you’ve never made a mistake, don’t throw the first stone.

  12. I don’t agree that we should treat this as a joke because, in the first place, it’s not funny. At first, I thought he was some primary school kid so if he does something like that people can really accept that he is ignorant or just trying to be funny. But apparently he is 14. He is a teenage already not some little kids who don’t know their limit. Put aside the details of the content, he should be old enough to be sensitive not to publish such things online. If he seriously don’t know the history of Chinese New Year, he just needs to keep his mouth shut. Everyone should stop boosting his ego and say that he is just trying to be funny. At such an age he still doesn’t know how to be humble, there is something really wrong with him. This has nothing to do with creativity. Having such a citizen, we, Singaporeans are being shamed by him. As for those people who said Singaporeans should hang our heads in shame, I think you are as low as the boy because you don’t have judgemental skills to recognise that that boy is a rare breed. Not everyone is like him or part of our system turn him to be this way.

  13. A total disgrace to his parents and his own native race.
    He just made himself a laughing stock to his own american angmo friends.

  14. I think we all have the right to speak. It’s a “democratic” society anyway..or in the making. I’ve seen in most of his videos he always put a warning that viewers might get offended. and in most of the developed society this kind of video is very common. Look at Britain’s one (comedy) for example, always mocks British them self and other races in a funny way. Mocking ourself means practicing to be tolerant. and umm realizing that we’re still far from perfect. but this should be done in a good-funny-smart way somehow. Some of his (Yee) videos are great some are not. This means he is talented. He needs more practice. And after all youtube-ing, twitter-ing, facebook-ing they are all playing important parts in building democratic society even though it’s hyper-reality.

  15. A total disgrace to his chinese heritage and roots. Youngsters nowadays are so fond of American culture and they embrace them, thinking that they are “cool” and been a Chinese is so “uncool”. Utterly disgraceful. It is rather sad to see a Singaporean Chinese boy disgracing himself in the social media platform and it does really made himself looks silly and stupid.

  16. Its satire and its comedy so give the kid a break. He wasnt being serious(what kind of comedy actually portrays serious and non fiction stuff?) and jsut because it wasnt funny it doesnt change the intention of the video which was satire.

    The over reactive response only shows the immaturity and sensitivity of our sinocentric society. You dont see jews,black people, old people, christians,mexicans, handicapped people etc makign a fuss when american comedy makes fun of them. Nor do you see prcs pinoys malays making noise when the noose makes fun of them

    I agree fully with octopi.

  17. @dasdad: In all due respect, I feel that he ought to learn the difference between humour and outright disrespect. Poking fun at stereotypes of certain groups of people in a fun-loving way is all fine, but disrespect for a CULTURE is another thing, not to mention that it is his own culture. I feel that any immaturity shown is on the part of the boy, and it can’t be helped that viewers have strong reactions to it.

  18. he;s just a kid lah. by trying to fan more attention about him, really u r just acting like just another bully.

    30+ vs 14 year own.

    shameful eh?

  19. I believe little amos is a creative and fun loving boy, someone with potential for greater things.
    Age may be a factor for his thoughts and him disregarding his own culture, but many teenagers his age do not hold the influencing power as much since he is now considered a public figure. He should choose his actions and speech properly as it might bring negative influences to the other teens.

  20. @respectful guy: I agree that a line has to be drawn between humour and disrespect but i do feel that the boy had no intention of showing any disrespect to the chinese culture given the context and the tone of the video. He even explained in the video that he was making everything up.

    Viewers thinking the video is distasteful is one thing but insulting the child and his parents is another, which is what we see in the comments section of the video. If that isnt an overreaction typical of a sensitive person then i donno what is.

    Nevertheless i have to accept that content like those found in the video is bound to step on peoples toes. He should have made another video to clarify his stand and apologise to those he had offended

  21. Okay. How the fuck is that satire? Seriously? According to wiki “satire is usually meant to be funny, its greater purpose is often constructive social criticism, using wit as a weapon.” So you’re saying that hairless kid was trying to criticise chinese tradition or something? Using wit? Seriously?

    I strongly feel that what he did was not satire. NOT A BIT OF IT. It was more of mocking.

  22. He’s just a kid. Don’t tell me you diden make any mistakes so big when you were young? Let’s just move on with life. Give him some room. Like liangjiasun did.

  23. Hey Amos! I think becuz of u, the movie has become nicer man! no joke. I think Jack Neo did the right stuff by having you played a small role in the movie. Think only you are suitable for the small role. And for the scenes that jump all over here and thr, I bet is becuz, majority of the “skipped” scenes are your scenes right..? Its okay! work hard.

  24. Honestly what the fuck is wrong with you guys? Picking on a 14 year old kid?

    He’s incredibly talented and intelligent, and at least he has the balls to post videos of him speaking his mind. I really dk what’s wrong with Singaporeans. Speaking his mind on his youtube channel means he’s acting smart? So you guys are happy when a kid stops expressing himself because he’s too afraid? Really, it’s not cool to bring a talented kid down to your level.

    And you guys who say it isn’t funny — it’s because you’re obviously offended by it. Cmon it’s a video that’s meant to ENTERTAIN. I understand that humor is very subjective. But to me his humor far surpasses many 14 year olds.

    I genuinely feel sad for him. It’s like he’s starting to develop his talents and the entire nation is trying to bring him down. Maybe that’s why most Singaporeans just study, work their asses off and die. You guys can remain hopeless about life, but you need to find better entertainment than mocking the fuck out of A 14 YEAR OLD KID because of one of their silly actions.

    What the fuck has society become?

  25. If he is a Singaporean, he is in denial. We do not speak like this, and we shouldn’t be trying to speak in this accent, only if we go to international schools or abroad do we speak like this. He is so young but he’s trying to hard to block off his own roots and culture. I’ve seen him in other unscripted videos, he has a Singaporean accent. So it is really no use to kid yourself… It’s like Dawn Yang. When the whole world sees there’s something fake up your sleeves, stop it because it’s darn bloody obvious.

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