US television network ABC has issued a formal apology for allowing the comment “Kill everyone in China” to air on its late-night show Jimmy Kimmel Live, which has provoked outrage from Chinese communities around the world.
“We offer our sincere apology,” read a statement from ABC obtained by South China Morning Post on Saturday. “We would never purposefully broadcast anything to upset the Chinese community, Asian community, anyone of Chinese descent or any community at large...our objective is to entertain.”
The statement, signed by Lisa Berger, ABC Entertainment’s executive vice president who oversees the Jimmy Kimmel Live show, and Tim McNeal, vice president of ABC’s talent development and diversity branch, added that ABC had removed the controversial comment from all media platforms and would edit the comment out of any future airing of the show.
Video: Jimmy Kimmel's show stirs controversy with comment about killing Chinese
This is the first known apology the television network has issued over the controversial skit originally aired on the “Kid’s Table” segment of Kimmel’s late-night talk show on October 16. It showed a young boy who suggested that the US should resolve its debt crisis by “killing everyone in China.”
Cyberspace-based organisation 80-20 Initiative in US that promotes equal opportunities for Asian Americans said the apology was a result of its "hard negotiations".
S.B.Woo, the organisation's chairman and of Hong Kong-origin, told the Post by telephone that he immediately lodged a protest with the television network as soon as he found out that the Jimmy Kimmel Live programme was actually not live.
“Otherwise, personally I do not think it is a big deal – because kids say the darnedest things,” said Woo. “However, allowing it to air shows ABC’s grievous lack of judgment.” He added the programme would not dare to air a similar comment aimed at black or Jewish people.
“Personally I don’t consider [the apology] a victory at all,” he said.
Woo added that the incident only reflected that Asian-American communities were not doing enough to have their voices heard in American society and he urged them to unite in the face of similar situations in the future. If they had done so in this case, “the outcome of this incident would have been even more satisfactory,” he said.
Video: Jimmy Kimmel Apologizes for 'Kill everyone in China' remark