Jimmy Kimmel held a “kid’s table” a couple of weeks ago and asked blah blah blah, and it was all pretty boring until some young’un said we should “kill everyone in China.” If you’re interested in the context, read up on it here. “Kill everyone in China” isn’t the best joke, even out of the mouth of a young child — it’s certainly not the best thing* Kimmel’s done with kids — but whatever, it’s Jimmy Kimmel, it’s late-night comedy, who really cares?
Turns out, a lot of people. As of late Monday, a White House petition demanding an apology had garnered 55,000 signatures. And guess what? Congrats, people, you win. Now watch as ABC performs corporate ablution in the form of an apology so that we can all get on with our lives. SCMP with this:
“We’re writing to offer our sincere apology,” read a copy of a letter obtained by the South China Morning Post sent from ABC on Saturday to 80-20 Initiative, a cyberspace-based organisation in US promoting equal opportunities for Asian Americans.
“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,” read the letter 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.
A serious question, fellow Chinese community members: what kind of joke — something actually funny — with the word “China” or “Chinese” in it would you consider acceptable? Where’s the line that, if not crossed, won’t make you go signing an online petition as if anyone** thinks killing all Chinese people is actually a good idea?
S.B. Woo, the chairman of the 80-20 Initiative with Hong Kong roots, said he was not satisifed with the apology.
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.
The outcome of this incident would have been even more satisfactory. S.B. Woo is one serious motherfucker who is NOT to be trifled with. The head of Jimmy Kimmel on a pike OR ELSE WAR.
*The actual best thing was when he brought a kid onstage to take a basketball shot to win something or other, and with all the pressure on, Kimmel jumped out of nowhere and redirected the shot into the front row. I can’t seem to find video of that.
**I know out of millions of people, at least five or six or seven might seriously get behind killing all Chinese people. But don’t be a pedant. That’s the lesson of this post. Don’t be a dirty, dirty pedant.
UPDATE, 10/31: This is bad:
UPDATE, 11/4, 3:30 pm: Here’s Kimmel apologizing on air: