Vietnamese police detained a video blogger Saturday after a local version of the viral “Salt Bae” YouTube star went viral on social media. In a video posted to her Facebook page, Pham Minh Phan, a blogger from southern Vietnam, sings and dances to Salt Bae’s signature stroked-peanut rice bowl video, dressed as a chef with knives sharpened into slashes. The video has been viewed more than seven million times.
With her music providing the “Rice Bae” accent, Pham sings about noodles falling out of her spoon. “But rice don’t fall off your spoon, right?” she tells viewers in the video.
After the video went viral on social media over the past few days, Pham posted a message Thursday asking for apologies from Dong Ngo, the man who lifted the viral video to a level of fame that made him an international star. “Please tell me your apologies,” Pham wrote. “My friends, we aren’t safe.” She posted pictures of an Alamo-style monument on the Internet, with the inscription “People create their own reality but when they see something they love it’s them that creates the reality they love.”
YouTube refused to take down the video, however, and Dong Ngo posted a video on his own page Wednesday, saying he had never been asked to remove the original video. The popular blogger responded to Pham’s tweet from Thursday: “I said well actually.” Dong Ngo said he would continue to receive queries from media outlets wanting to interview him in Vietnamese, according to an interview with the blog VOÑÁI Mì VÁ LIM.
Pham’s video aired in the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi in front of live audiences and was the number one trending topic on social media there. The video has also been posted to Twitter and Facebook, and has drawn criticism from influential commentators such as Nguyen Van Hai, chairman of the National Assembly, according to Reuters. Hai appeared on Vietnamese state television to criticize Pham, telling a local reporter that viewers had the right to choose what type of political satire they wanted to see.
Pham has yet to respond to Hai’s remarks, but has not deleted the Salt Bae-inspired parody from her Facebook page.
Read the full story at Reuters.
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