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  • Nov 20, 2014
  • Updated: 4:02am
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White House responds to petition, saying it can't kill Kimmel show

Replying to petition over 'kill Chinese' quip on ABC show, US says free speech is paramount

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 12 January, 2014, 5:12am
UPDATED : Sunday, 12 January, 2014, 5:12am
 

The White House has weighed in on a petition calling for the US government to crack down on Jimmy Kimmel Live, a television talk show that sparked a furore in China in October with a joke about killing Chinese people to avoid paying down US debt to the country.

More than 105,000 people signed on to a White House petition calling for an apology after the show on the American Broadcasting Co included a segment where Kimmel asked a group of children how the United States should pay back the US$1.3 trillion it owes to China.

A six-year-old said: "Kill everyone in China." Host Jimmy Kimmel replied: "That's an interesting idea."

Afterwards, Chinese-American groups protested outside the California headquarters of ABC, and the Chinese Foreign Ministry complained. ABC and Kimmel apologised for the segment.

The White House, which accepts petitions and responds to the most popular ones, noted that ABC and Kimmel had "already apologised independently" and said the comments "do not reflect mainstream views of China in the United States".

"As the president has stated publicly, the United States welcomes the continuing peaceful rise of China," the White House said in its official response to the petition.

However, it also noted that the US constitution protected free speech and that the federal government could not force ABC to "cut the show" as the petition had requested.

"It may be upsetting when people say things we might personally disagree with, but the principle of protected free speech is an important part of who we are as a nation," the White House response declared.

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This article is now closed to comments

zvichadashote
Johnson, (by the way that was a name of an American president who also made some bad jokes), if The U.S Government and the American public had to apologize for every joke made in poor taste, no one would have time for shopping and buyimg all the products imported from China to USA. And then there would be little money left for the Noveau Riche Mainlanders to spend in Hong Kong and while doing so, behave with rudeness that even Jimmy Kimmel cannot match.
rodney.thomas.71271
Yay for free speech unless you say something I don't like!
johnsonwkchoi
Obama and the White House said a whole bunch of garbage (Bull ****) that meant nothing. And to add insult to it, Obama White House asked us to contact FCC. If the joke was "killing all the Jews" or instead of saying "killing all Chinese in China so we do not have to repay the debt" said "burn down and kill all Bank of America Employees so we do not have to repay our mortgage" see what kind of reaction Obama White House will say. What Jimmy Kimmel said was NOT a joke, a racist and try to promote crime against humanity.
lucifer
...or hurt the feelings of the Chinese people....
ejmciii
I find it ironic that most people don't get the joke and it is on the Americans. The sophomoric idea that if we don't want to pay back a debt we kill everyone in a nation. Elicited from a kid. And Kimmel does not agree, but notes exactly that it is an insane idea. I do love how quickly you all jump on something that you don't like but fully back the propaganda from the north about attacking Japan over some rocks in the sea. You cannot make this up.
ejmciii
I know free speech is a foreign concept to many over here. They are used to a government that can say anything it wants to and can squelch what it does not like. So it goes. It can go on racist rants as much as it wants. It was a joke. A bad one, but a joke. What it actually revealed (and you did not get) was how simple minded some American people are about the world. Stick with China, where everyone is Chinese, and you will be happy.

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