Late night TV talk-show host and comedian Jimmy Kimmel is facing public outrage over a skit in which a six-year-old boy joked about killing Chinese people.
The network that airs his show has issued a public apology.
Kimmel often finds humor in working with children and on October 16 his show, Jimmy Kimmel Live, aired a “Kid’s Table” segment in which Kimmel hosts a political roundtable discussion with a group of elementary-school-aged kids wearing business suits.
When he asked the “panel” what America should do about the $1.3 trillion debt the country owes to the Chinese, one boy responded, “kill everyone in China!” Then he broke down laughing.
“Kill everyone in China?” a chuckling Kimmel responded. “That’s an interesting idea.”
Later Kimmel asked the panel, “Should we allow the Chinese to live?” To which all of the kids shouted “Yes!” Except the one boy who had made the original statement, who shouted “no!”
One little girl postulates, “If we kill them, they won’t pay us.”
Kimmel then signs off, calling it the “Lord of the Flies edition” of “Kid’s Table.”
It should be mentioned that Kimmel's tone throughout the skit was one of mild sarcasm and amusement at the outrageousness of the childrens' statements. There was no suggestion that Kimmel actually agreed with the expressed sentiments.
After a reported 65,000 people signed a White House petition calling for an investigation into the segment, and about 100 Chinese-Americans protested outside the ABC television network’s San Francisco studios on Monday, ABC — which airs Kimmel’s nightly show — issued an apology.
At the Monday protest, demonstrators (pictured) carried signs depicting Kimmel with a Hitler mustache and swastika armband.
“We would never purposefully broadcast anything to upset the Chinese community, Asian community, anyone of Chinese descent or any community at large,” the ABC network’s statement said. “Our objective is to entertain. We took swift action to minimize the distribution of the skit by removing it from all public platforms available to us and editing it out of any future airings of the show. We hope our actions and our apology effectively address your concerns. Thank you for bringing this to our attention.”
The skit still exists online at least for the time being. View it below.
SOURCES: Deadline Hollywood, Time.com, NBC Today