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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

winnie.tran.927
WE SHOULD NOT ONLY BOYCOTT BUT HAVE JIMMY FIRED AND HIS PROGRAM CANCELLED.
HE EXHIBITED THE HIGHEST FORM OF IGNORANCE AND BIGOTRY. IF EVER HIS BRAIN IS DONATED, DONEE SHOULD REJECT IT BECAUSE IT HAS ZERO COMMON SENSE IN IT.
HOW COULD HE BE SO STUPID TO FIELD A QUESTION TO A 6-YEAR OLD ABOUT THE USA REPAYING ITS LOAN TO CHINA?
I WOULD NOT BE SURPRISED IF THE CHINESE PEOPLE IN DISGUST AND REVENGE WOULD LIKE TO HAVE HIM THROWN TO THE DUNGEONS. HOWEVER, DOING EVIL FOR EVIL IS SENSELESS. IT IS SUCH A SHAME THAT THIS MORON IS HIDING UNDER THE MANTLE OF PROTECTION UNDER THE FREEDOM OF FREE SPEECH AS A JOURNALIST WHICH IS TOTALLY WRONG.
I BESEECH IN THE NAME OF GOD, ALLAH, BUDDHA AND THE OTHER DIETIES FOR HIS TRIBE NOT TO INCREASE....
ROBERTIUS
you failed to spot that it was just a joke winnie.
realestate
If such a show was aired in China and the Chinese kid on the show said ' Kill all Americans' I very much doubt the Americans would react in the same way as all Chinese have.There are so many shows on TV where kids are asked to comment on many issues and their comments are not only hilarious but most of the time have an air of childish innocence. A comedy show is for entertainment ( at the expense of others) any comment coming from a child should be discounted as childish innocence and not taken seriously.
Stand Lay Lamb
The problem isn't with the kids. Kids do not know better. Kids saying the wrong things is to be expected. Like you said, any comments from children should be regarded with a less serious manner. The problem people have is with ABC and Jimmy Kimmel broadcasting it. They should have known it would be controversial. Yet they chose to broadcast it without consideration for the Chinese American community. In a way, they were condoning racial slurring.
As for the whole American reaction idea, Americans would react the same way. You should re-read the article. It clearly says "Asian Americans." In other words, "Americans" are reacting this way. Not Chinese and not China. It is Asian Americans. So Americans would care and likely react the same way. And in your China scenario, Americans in the United States would not care. However, Americans in China would most likely be disturbed. It is all about perspective.
Also, you should note that not everyone would be offended (in the actual and hypothetical situations). But there would still be a huge group that would be. And those groups are the ones speaking up.
NYCCitizen
If there was a show like what you say in China, 1)MOST Chinese adults(educated or not) will address the kid to "Speak no Evil" and that suggesting killing is a very bad thing. Most Chinese would not condone violence. 2)I cannot say what's the reaction of the US internet community major but I can assure you that many media will start a big scene saying that Chinese Government training the kid with the rhetoric and trying to shape the public views among Chinese. 3)Not sure whether you are still living USA, but USA has turned much more violet over last 20 years both from the internet comments, hate crime rates and actions of the government. 4)I sincerely hope you do not suggest or agree to your own kids of suggesting of violence in such an irresponsible way. Your insensitivity only increase their acceptance of violence in general. 5)Do you know one of the reason that Saddam attack Kuwait was to evade the debt they owed them?
ROBERTIUS
It was a joke. maybe not very funny. but a joke.
plenty of chinese condone violence - violence happens every day here in CHina against those who oppose the system and you bet we all condone it - otherwise it's off to a re-education camp. I'm writing from Beijing and I might write this on line but no way am I going to go on the street and protest.
So keep your sense of perspective - jokes in the US from children and a system based on repression here in China - which makes you more angry?
thomas.wong.90038882
Well ! You can not use your values to judge other behaviors. Just because a country that is opening and well-development and it does not mean every country in the world have to follow their culture values.
realestate
what are you guys so stuck up
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.
lawrence.hiddleston
So kill everyone in China in a interesting idea? What do you think we are?(Yes , I am a Chinese).If you own someone money should you pay them back? Please ask your lawyer. Should you give a chance to Chinese and allow them alive? Thank you so much. It is so sad for we have to let American "allow" we alive. I am so angry and disappointment to a public show allow this kind comments published. Chinese don't have a sense of humor so they are being annoying? It is humor for Chinese have feeling right? They can feel pain. It's completely incredible right? Those words out of a child mouth doesn't make it excusable. You don't treat it serious not mean we will not.
You still don't care ?

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