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'Kill everyone in China': Outrage over comment during Jimmy Kimmel skit

Comedian Jimmy Kimmel has angered Americans with a skit that many did not find funny

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 23 October, 2013, 10:21am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 23 October, 2013, 12:48pm
 

Comedian Jimmy Kimmel has drawn ire from offended Asian Americans for a skit on his late-night talk show which jokingly suggested that Americans should deal with their debt crisis by “killing everyone in China.”

The clip in question, aired on the United States’ ABC Network on 16 October, featured a critique of the recent US government shutdown. In it, Kimmel and a group of children preside over a discussion panel titled “Kid’s Table” and spark a satirical debate over how the US should deal with the government shutdown and the debt owed to China.

Video: Jimmy Kimmel's show stirs controversy with comment about killing Chinese

One of the children’s comments that the US should “kill everyone in China” produced controversy, and critics have taken to Youtube and created a White House petition boycotting Kimmel’s decision to air the comment on his show.

“I was very disturbed by Jimmy Kimmel’s ‘Kids Table’ show,” the White House petition reads. “It was aired on ABC recently and talked about killing all the Chinese so that the States do not need to pay back their debts to China. The kids might not know anything better. However, Jimmy Kimmel and ABC’s management are adults. They had a choice not to air this racist program, which promotes racial hatred. The program is totally unacceptable and it must be cut. A sincere apology must be issued. It is extremely distasteful and this is the same rhetoric used in Nazi Germany against Jewish people. Please immediately cut the show and issue a formal apology.”

To date, the petition has received more than 14,000 signatures, and Asian American bloggers and online magazines have echoed its criticisms.

“When Jimmy Kimmel asked the kids about what to do with the $1.3 trillion US debt to China, one boy replied: ‘Kill everyone in China,’” wrote David Li of Bostonese, an online journal servicing Boston’s Chinese community. “Jimmy Kimmel commented ‘that’s an interesting idea,’ and went on to discuss more about this idea as if there was nothing wrong with it.

“The editors and managers of ABC must have felt the same way, and aired these racist and genocidal discussions on air… Mr. Kimmel, this is not funny at all. You have missed a great opportunity to teach the boy a lesson when the senseless remarks were made.”

Not all viewers of the parody found it objectionable. While many Youtube commentators pointed out that the skit was in bad taste, others called it “hilarious” and pointed out that it had been meant as satire.

“If you feel threatened by a 5-year-old’s comments then you need to question your moral high ground,” one Youtube poster wrote. “I'm not American, [but] all this carries is entertainment value. I don't think it warrants this reaction. This kid meant no harm.”

ABC and Kimmel have yet to respond to the complaints.

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This article is now closed to comments

guy.pant
I grew up in Canada and I've heard real racist stuff from white kids and a few adults towards Chinese and even Japanese. Some of those kids were supposedly friends with very casual attitudes and plenty of negative racial comments, but it was adults that surprise me. American government blame on China for their problems has led to all kinds of racist comments towards Chinese people and Kimmel producers choosing to air this blonde 5-year old's comments will let this child know it's okay say s*(* towards an entire group you know s*(* about.
Today a news story in Canada talked about a University of B.C. student chant (reflecting on Disney's Pochahontas) "whiteman steal our land." There was widespread condemnation by non-natives (particularly whites) by calling it racism towards natives while no one from First Nations (natives) not surprisingly had condemned it. The clamming down of a dark history by redirecting racism away from the accused or inventing terms like "reverse racism" is becoming a norm here. Whiteman's guilt is a myth and political correctness is practically dead in N. America.
suagri@yahoo.com
If the question was, "The US Government don't have enough money for health care, and old people are using up most of the health care cost, what should we do?" And a 5 y.o. says "kill them all!". Would you find it funny? Come on, jokes have limits, specially on a TV show! Isn't this promotion of racism!
jayb
Kimmel has the lowest ratings of the three. over 1 million fewer than Leno, Letterman every night. he was just trying to generate some ratings. can't do african american jokes, can't tease mexicans.... chinese is the new "bad guy" in hollywood. btw, it's NOT "asian american" as he said "chinese". but then, with Disney's portfolio in china, Kimmel will be apologizing to daddy soon..
KwunTongBypass
If the SCMP would have titled: "'Kill everyone in China': Outrage over comment BY FIVE YEAR OLD during Jimmy Kimmel skit" then everybody with brains would have wondered why this is news, and probably not even bothered reading it.
But modern tabloid journalism commands juicy headlines - doesn't it.
Given the sinking quality of the SCMP 'news' one is inclined to believe that SCMP "journalists's" pay is linked to the number of clicks they get.
seanniem
This is making a mountain out of a mole hill. I agree w Philbelus. It's a comedy show. It's satire. It's meant to make fun of ignorant american mentalities represented through a child. I think it is making fun of americans more so than Kimmel being racist.
To condense this whole situation: Kimmel said, "Look how ridiculous for us to think 'Kill all the Chinese' is some sort of solution " And you guys are up in arms saying, "He said "Kill all the Chinese' , he's a racist!!!"
CONTEXT CONTEXT CONTEXT.
chuchu59
When Americans state this sort of thing its called humor whereas if people of other countries say something similar its racist.
jmscscmp
The Jimmy Kimmel show is on US TV late at night. Kimmel is a comedian. The whole show is intended to be funny. This skit was intended as satire, and should be viewed in that light. There is a long tradition in US television of allowing kids to speak their minds: Bill Cosby 1998-2000, Art Linkletter 1945-1969. Both shows had the same name, which aptly describes this skit: "Kids Say the Darndest Things." Google "Art Linkletter Kids Say the Darndest Things" and see for yourself. Furthermore, what was being satirized was emphatically NOT China or Chinese people. This skit had nothing to do with racism. Rather, it is the level of US debt that was the object of the satire. The debt to China was just used as an example, perhaps because China is the largest non-US government holder of US debt, holding about 11%. The point of the satire was to show that kids, whose utterances clearly are not to be taken seriously, have no better grip on the problem of US debt than some American politicians. Any inferences otherwise are flights of fancy. And who will eventually pay off US debt? US children -- like those on Kimmel's show -- so how better to satirize the level of US debt than to use children?
jiahao.chen.37
Unacceptable, Jimmy should be on the news again and apologize to the people of China. The child may not know much, but how does this man understand enough? He treats it as a joke. I strongly suggest this Jimmy Kimmel should apologize to the Chinese. This is racial intolerance.
Jane Lee
Unbelievable stupidity & hatred of the talk show shows ! Do we want to our new generation like this ?
jaswinderpalsngh@yahoo.com
The host didnt even make an effort to tell the kid that its wrong, he rather kept on repeating the comments. What retards! And yeah seems like your parents didnt teach you too how to apologise for stupid comments.

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