White House Responds to ABC's Jimmy Kimmel China Controversy

White House Responds to ABC's Jimmy Kimmel China Controversy

During a sketch on the late night show in October, a 6-year-old said, “Kill everyone in China,” Kimmel replied: “That's an interesting idea.”

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

More than 105,000 people signed on to a White House petition calling for an apology after the show, broadcast on ABC, included a segment where Kimmel asked a group of children how the United States should pay back the $1.3 trillion it owes to China, the world's second-largest economy.

Also read: Jimmy Kimmel, ABC Urged by China to Issue a ‘Sincere’ Apology

A 6-year-old said, “Kill everyone in China.” Kimmel replied: “That's an interesting idea.”

Afterwards, Chinese-American groups protested outside the California headquarters of ABC, which is owned by Walt Disney Co, and the Chinese Foreign Ministry complained. ABC and Kimmel apologized for the segment.

See video: Jimmy Kimmel Gets Kids to Resolve the Shutdown

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

Also read: Jimmy Kimmel ‘Kill Everyone in China’ Petition Awaits White House Response

“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, the White House also noted that the U.S. Constitution protects free speech and that the federal government cannot 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 said.

 

  • DCGirl

    Yet the Duck Dynasty dude wasn't allowed free speech without so much hoopla! SMH

    • Matt

      The government didn't intervene with the duck dynasty guy. That was a decision made be his employer, the television network. Not an infringement on free speech.

      • thinkb4uclick

        Any restrictions not covered in specific acknowledged company policy have no legal bearing. Hence, all the company meetings and policy contracts employees deal with in corporate America. If speech is not infringed upon in policy governed by the company then it reverts to the law of the land. If the company makes policy governing conduct then it is not a free speech issue.

        • David Peretiatko

          Yeah, what HE said.

  • A.L. Hern

    “More than 105,000 people signed on to a White House petition calling for an apology…”

    Maybe it's just me, but it's somewhat suspicious that 104,999 of the signers were named Wu.

    • Darkthunder

      More than 105,000 people dislike Freedom of Speech.

    • SouthernSmoke85

      racist

      • John McElroy

        Perhaps, but still humorous

        • SouthernSmoke85

          racist

          • Keyboard Coward

            How is he the coward? He uses his actual name and image in his profile. You're barely less of a coward than I am posting as a guest.

          • SouthernSmoke85

            how do u kno thats hes real name coward

          • YAHWEH

            Because of Google.

          • SouthernSmoke85

            get a life

          • The Chosen

            Blasphemer!

          • Jonny Cal

            You having a bout of Tourettes SS85?

          • SouthernSmoke85

            another racist, please show us who u are.

        • SouthernSmoke85

          coward behind a keyboard

          • Mr Cristal

            Got lice?

    • Adam Clifton

      105,000 signatures. That's a hell of a lot of Wonged people

  • Jimmy Reagan

    Jimmy has no reason to apologize.. His response was “that's an interesting idea”, Since when is that anything but saying “that's an interesting idea”? That doesn't say Jimmy Kimmel agrees that we should kill or that he supports that view..it's “that's an interesting idea”.. And since when do we take orders from Communist China??? China can stick it up Russia and learn what comedy and free speech means.. That's an interesting idea!

    • Matt

      Sorry to tell u, but unfortunately our government today has already been taking orders and negotiating with several other countries, and sadly it includes china. Where is the AMERICA that I used to know as a kid? Sobs sobs

      • Guest

        in the racist propagandists revisionists textbooks that deny the holocaust, evolution and claim that the slaves never sang the blues?

    • Ian

      Are you able to say killing all black people a interesting idea publicly? I did not mean to harm anyone, but apparently it is not proper. A lot of you American don't dare to use the word BLACK.

      • Guest

        well maybe it is true enough…

        as this is more of an issue of nationality than ethnicity alone… though americans do tend pride themselves on their ignorance…

        so, maybe that is just who they were referring to…

        • Jimmy Reagan

          “Ignorant” is not knowing, and which is what you would be since you misinterpreted the who situation.. That's funny…. Oh wait, shouldn't also we start a letter writing campaign against you, since YOU, yourself just demeaned a whole country of people??? Ha!

      • Jimmy Reagan

        I use the word “BLACK” all the time..There's nothing wrong with that.. There's black history month.. Not all black people are African American, especially if they live in Canada or Europe or Haiti, etc….Also, Blacks call white people “white”, so that's a stupid totally irrelevant argument that you brought up and totally false that “Americans don't dare use the word black”. That right there shows you're ignorant and lack comprehension skills needed to have a serious debate, even if the debate is pointless and totally without merit..as is this whole Jimmy Kimmel thing.

        Plus, you're missing the who point here, “That's an interesting idea” ISN'T “We should kill”, nor is it agreeing with the statement, “That's an interesting idea”.. is a response used to acknowledge that someone said something, but okay, whatever, let's move on.. You read too much into it, which is sad. Also, it's comedy show, and no one with any common sense really believes anyone is promoting killing – get a sense of humor. Btw, why aren't you picking on Arabs for saying death to everything, bet you “don't dare do that”?:.. or speaking out against REAL human rights abuses around the world (like in Uganda, Russia, CHINA, North Korea, etc.)..Again, “I bet you don't dare do that”.

        Moreover, even if Kimmel had said “Yes, we SHOULD kill all the people in China” (which he didn't), it's a comedy show, so get a grip, lighten up and get a life. This is America, we have this thing called freedom of speech and it's protected, something most people in other countries don't understand. The president basically said this in response to this useless and needless issue. The fact that people who misinterpret things and have NO idea how this country works (with no sense of humor) and write the government to censor and act out against those using free speech shows just how great our system actually is…
        Bye now.

      • Jimmy Reagan

        Umm.. use the word “BLACK” all the time..There's nothing wrong with that.. It's not a “slur” or anything. There are many black people in America who don't LIKE the term “African American” and prefer “black” . . There's black history month.. Plus, not all black people are African American, especially if they live in Canada or Europe or Haiti, etc….Also, blacks call white people “white”..and what do you call balcks in Africa? African, African? What if they came from the U.S. “African American African”??.. and what about the millions of whites in Africa, are they European African?? Actress Charlize Theron is from South Africa, and now lives in America, so she too would be an African American so that's a stupid totally irrelevant argument that you brought up, and totally false that “Americans don't dare use the word black”. So that right there shows how stupid that subject was, but proves your lack of comprehension skills needed to have a serious debate, since it has nothing to do with anything pertaining to the original subject, which itself is pointless and totally without merit..
        I seriously hope you get as worked up about REAL legitimate issues regarding human rights, as you do over fake made up ones?? There's REAL abuse going on in Russia, Uganda, CHINA, N. Korea, Zimbabwe, Iran, Saudi Arabia, India, etc.. I hope you're speaking out against all the real atrocities going on in these places too..but I suspect you're not, since you're too busy dealing with made up stuff…

        As far as the so called “racist segment on Kimmel” as some are dubbing it, you're missing the who point here, “That's an interesting idea” ISN'T “We should kill”, nor is it agreeing with the statement, “That's an interesting idea” is a response used to acknowledge that someone said something, “but okay, whatever, let's move on because you're insane”.. If you saw the whole clip you would know that Kimmel was disturbed a few times by the kid's comments and punctuated it by referencing “Lord of the Flies” at the end, which clearly dispels any notion that Kimmel concurs with the notion of killing of people in China..

        I think, like many people, you've never ACTUALLY seen the clip to begin with. Go look it up on YouTube – if your country permits it… If you still feel that Kimmel supports the killing of anyone, then you're an idiot..

        Moreover, even if Kimmel had in fact said “Yes, we SHOULD kill all the people in China” (which he clearly didn't), it's a comedy show, so get a grip, lighten up and get a life. This is America, we have this thing called freedom of speech and it's protected by our Constitution, something most people in other countries don't understand. The president basically said this in his response to this useless and needless issue. The fact that people who misinterpret things and have NO idea how this country works or have no sense of humor and write the government to demand it to censor and act out against those using free speech shows just how great OUR system actually is… and why we MUST protect it… Bye now! :)

        • LolitaP4

          Finally, someone else sees reality and truth.

  • Lily82

    And THIS is why we don't want to be indebted to China. And so it begins….

  • WrongSignOfTimes

    WOW!! The WH weighs in on something said on a late night show? Why doesn't the WH weigh in on old women and men being beaten by gangs of thugs in stupid “Knockout Games?” Really sad that a Government gets in talking points from late night comics. How really sad for American.

    • Zeitgeist

      Because the whole Knockout Games thing is not actually happening. It's an urban legend. If the WH responds to this, then they will certainly need to address arachnid filled cacti, kidney thieves, and sewer gators. Also, the times are no sadder or no more wrong now than they ever were. If you do not understand that, it is because you do not understand nostalgia. It's very easy to look back in time and feel good about what you see and feel because it is all resolved. The present and future always seem worse than the past because of the way we perceive time.

    • Balgor

      The White House sometimes weighs in on stupid topics because it is honoring a promise to do so. Any petition on its We The People webpage that receives 100,000 signatures within 30 days will be honored with a response, whether or not the topic is deserving of comment. Overall it is a good idea because it tasks the government to address what's on the minds of the people, even if some of those minds are a little too soft and squishy.

  • ren sevens

    Alright, I'm a Chinese here living in mainland. I used to watch Jimmy Kimmel's show via Internet. When I watched that specific show for the first time, I also felt very uncomfortable but I didn't think too much. Just another racist joke towards China. A few days later this whole thing started getting serious.Instant national news on net and TV, then lots of people who never watched the show before or never knew him were very angry about US media, and since then no one in China dared to make subtitles for Jimmy's show. So I haven't seen his show for months.Maybe it'll take a long time to recover.
    Though my feelings for Jimmy has changed completely, he just shouldn't make that response. I also watch other talkshows, and my favorite host of course is Jon Stewart. He has always been sympathetic and full of justice with international issues. He is LOVED by Chinese young viewers,and I remember he did a special Chinese episode in return.Stephen Colbert sometimes makes a little harsh critics about us, but he is cute overall. Anyway, I believe Jon wouldn't have said “that's an interesting idea”. Shame on Jimmy.

    • tubetvdude

      This has nothing to do with racsim. A 6 y.o. kid hasn't been force fed that word yet. Jimmy's response was no different than any other joke that people have been making about all cultures, including Americans, since the dawn of time. It was a silly, harmless joke. Anyone who got upset about this needs to get a life and a sense of humor.
      We've become a nation of apologists. There are some people with their heads so far up their asses that they feel someone has to apologize to them about even the tiniest infraction. People are sensitive pussies. Those same people have most likely made jokes about other races and thought it was okay (and it was). The losers who protested outside ABC studios should have spent their time doing something useful like volunteering for a charity instead of demonstrating their stupidity.

      • David Peretiatko

        I wish you were my friend.

      • SouthernSmoke85

        u must be a facist

        • Saul Goodman

          and you must have tourrettes… seriously. .stop being such a prude and learn how to take a joke…

          • SouthernSmoke85

            tourettes is a serious medical condition, nothing to make fun off. Heres a joke, what the difference between a cake baked by a black guy vs a jew? the black cake doesnt scream in the oven.

          • SouthernSmoke85

            take a joke right?

    • Matt

      Grow the f@&k up ren, this is our freedom of speech, we are living in a free country, so what we made few jokes just to share a good laugh, it doesn't necessarily reflects that we are racist, and even if we are in some cases of being racist, we still have the right to do that no matter what or how u think about it, so either way ren, u need to f@&king deal with it, if u dislike jimmy, then don't watch the show, nobody is forcing u, nobody was there to point a gun at ur head and saying here b@&€H enjoy the show, so ren, sincerely, suck on this, because our show is created for people with common sense, u don't like it, switch it off.
      Sign:
      Eagle of freedom

      • Guest

        but if the kid while committing the crime of being not white, christian and upper middle class said we should kill americans….

  • ren sevens

    Jimmy isn't that popular as Jon in China so it's not a huge loss. Brad Pitt did something very serious regarding Tibetan politics so his movies have always been banned here including World War Z.Steven Spielberg and my favorite movie star George Clooney used to have some anti-PRC political issues but now they seem no big deal. Their movies are not banned here. I excitedly went to see Gravity in cinema for three times. Feel sorry for Chinese Pitt fans.

  • DontMessWithAmerica

    So Jimmy has added a small item to his major fault, which is that he is boring.

  • peter

    Nowadays you need to hire 10 people to proof read your speeches not to offend some race, sex, nation etc… Very bad direction in my opinion!

  • Steven Burgas

    The words were from the mouth of an actual child.

    It seems there are at least 105k Americans who need to grow the f up.

  • Shaun

    The disturbing thing is that this vicious violence came from the mouth of a child. It certainly creates the impression that children are indoctrinated into an American culture of violence and war from a very early age.

  • Ben Zion

    People need to stop demanding apologies every time someone makes an off color joke. This is getting stupid.

  • solowd

    Some people live to be offended.

  • Jesse Gibson

    It's the kid who said it. Why should Jimmy have to apologize? Don't Chinese people understand a sarcastic response?

  • R.J. MacReady

    So what about the kid that made the comment if he wasnt told what to say, the group gonna track him down

  • Nihau, um ge fa?

    Well, Kimmel is actually right with “that's an interesting idea”. It really is I mean is there a country in the world today that treats different animals worse than China? Hell no! They are even the greatest consumers in the world of different parts of many times endangered parts of animals, such as ivory from elefants and rhinos. Don't even get me started about tigers. There are of course chinese organisations that condemn and work against things like that but still China is the worst example in the world. A lot of chinese are simply very cold and heart less people no doubt, not only chinese of course even japanese are many times like that against animals. Maybe it's an asian gene

    • Little Bobo

      Yeah, karma is a motherf*cker when natural disasters occurs in countries such as China and Japan no doubt!

  • Michael Difani

    Jeez, we've come a long way from decades go with the late Art Linklater and his show on for years, “Kids Say the Darndest Things”…any like me who is over 71 recall the show?

  • Jayna Williams

    Take warning. The concept and practice of “Political Correctness” in one's thoughts and speech are the result of a psy-op perpetrated on the American people to weaken free speech and free thought through the use of social and peer pressure. It is unknown as to who or what agency is responsible for this. Don't be fooled by this blatant attempt to control your behavior.