Two stand-up comedians announced on Friday they had quit China's widely known stand-up troupe, Deyunshe, after a fellow member punched a Beijing Television (BTV) reporter.
The two comedians, He Yunwei and Li Jing, made public their decision in He's blog on Sina.com.
Their announcement came amid public and media outcry over the punching incident in which Deyunshe comedian Li Hebiao hit a BTV reporter in his mentor Guo Degang's house.
The reporter, Zhou Wenfu, was repeatedly punched Sunday when attempting to interview Guo's family, according to clips widely circulated on the Internet and broadcast on BTV.
Instead of apologizing to Zhou, Guo, believed to be China's most famous stand-up comedian, posted a bitter and sarcastic blog note early Thursday saying that Zhou deserved to be beaten up for entering his home without permission, despite footage showing Zhou's colleague had knocked at the door and identified them as BTV reporters.
He and Li host an entertainment show on BTV. Guo used to be the host, but later handed the job over them.
Sources with the show were quoted in a Sohu.com report as saying that the show would still be hosted by He and Li but it remained unclear whether BTV's cooperation with Deyuanshe would continue.