ABC Apologizes For Jimmy Kimmel’s Kid’s Table Joke About “Killing Everyone In China” [UPDATE]

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:

Jimmy Kimmel as Hitler

UPDATE, 11/4, 3:30 pm: Here’s Kimmel apologizing on air:

    12 Responses to “ABC Apologizes For Jimmy Kimmel’s Kid’s Table Joke About “Killing Everyone In China” [UPDATE]”

      • kelly

        I seriously agree, I’m in the same shoes as this man but I fail to see his logic and opinions. His tone in this article and the articles relating to this just utterly disgusts me.

      • bomber

        I have to agree with Tao… I doubt this kid has any context for understanding what China is or how many people live there. That’s the whole point of the joke… Kimmel was making fun of congress, and in that goal he succeeded.

        And if he had said “All Jews“ or “All Blacks” I would argue the same thing. ABC probably shouldn’t have aired it, but who gives a shit. There’s no such thing as bad press, and it really is a situation where everyone wins.. Check the Chinese blogoshphere and see how far over their heads the comedy is; check the Western blogosphere and you’ll find no shortage of Al Sharpton wannabees screaming bloody murder.

        Hey, if it drives traffic do it! Tao knows this! hahaha

        • Jonathan Alpart

          It wasn’t live. It was deliberately left in the final cut. That means the editors or producers or whatever thought it was fit to broadcast, and therefore funny and entertaining for the general public. Again, if it was any other group of people, there would be tremendous outrage. It’s OK to say “kill all the Chinese” because they are constantly portrayed as our ideological and economical rivals, not people.

          Sure, this kid doesn’t know what he is saying, but I guarantee he is just repeating what he’s probably heard his parents say. The fact that this part was left in shows that the producers probably guessed that many of their viewers feel this way, too.

      • Kurt Cant

        Nice try. “Jews” and “blacks” refers to ethnic groups. “Everyone in China” refers to the residents of China, not the Chinese people. It doesn’t (for example) refer to residents of Taiwan or Chinese-Americans.

        A far more appropriate analogy would be if they replaced “everyone in China” with “everyone in England.”

    1. Robert

      Dealing with the Bully by Discounting the Victim

      This blog entry in reply to the Kimmel incident is yet another instance of an Asian-American wanting to downplay racial discrimination against his own race in an effort at distancing himself from a social ill which appears too large to tackle and with the belief that, by not defending himself and others against it, he is somehow not a part of that sociologically weaker group. This approach is further strengthened when he makes claims AGAINST that weak group.

      - To all Asians and Asian-Americans: You’re Asian. Show SOME dignity when those around you try to mistreat you and/or your social status.

      • Chen

        People are too quick to conflate national origin and race. The two might be intricately linked, but the nuances matter.

        Case in point: “To all Asians and Asian-Americans”

        Those are not the same group of people — the latter is a subset of the former. It is up to the individual to choose to identify themselves by race or by country. An Asian-American has every right to identify herself more as an “Asian” or more as an “American.” So when you proclaim, “You’re Asian,” you’re undermining the experiences of Asian-Americans who prefer to view the world through a less racial lens, who value their identity as “Americans” above simply being pigeonholed into a racial category.

        Jimmy Kimmel’s joke “attacked” a country, not a race. All the reasons why Kimmel’s joke is xenophobic, or views China as a threat – those are not RACIST perspectives, but nationalist perspectives. They center on China as a COUNTRY, not Chinese or Asians as a race. Conflating the two concepts, and reducing every hostile remark as “racist,” is socially unproductive and intellectually disengaging.


    Leave a Reply to China Suk

    • (will not be published)

    XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

    8 − = seven