Jimmy Kimmel received a wave of backlash from the Asian-American community, after a skit on his late-night show facetiously suggested that America deal with its debt crisis by “killing everyone in China.”
Kimmel’s “Kid’s Table” clip featured a group of four children dressed in suits, critiquing the recent government shutdown. The skit, which was broadcasted on October 16, consisted of a debate between the children on how the United States should address debt owed to China during the halt on Capitol Hill – an issue that caused tension between the U.S. and Beijing.
One of the children’s sentiments that the United States should “kill everyone in China” as a means to end the debt, has stirred controversy-some critics have created an online White House petition that calls for a boycott of the decision to air the piece, while others have taken to YouTube to express their distaste with the skit.
“I was very disturbed by Jimmy Kimmel’s ‘Kid’s Table’ show,” the petition read. “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.”
The petition likened this commentary to the rhetoric used by Nazi Germany during the Holocaust.
“Please immediately cut the show and issue a formal apology,” the petition read.
According to the South China Morning Post, writer David Li wrote a blog post for Boston Chinese publication Bostonese, criticizing Kimmel’s unsavory move.
“When Jimmy Kimmel asked the kids about what to do with the $1.3 trillion U.S. debt to China, one boy replied: ‘Kill everyone in China,'” he wrote. “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.”
Some found the clip funny, and defended Kimmel’s decision to air it, despite acknowledgments that the comments were received in an unseemly manner.
“If you feel threatened by a 5-year-old’s comments, then you need to question your moral high ground,” on YouTube user posted. “I’m not American, [but] all this carries is entertainment value. I don’t think it warrants this reaction. This kid meant no harm.”
Warranted? or no?