Kids Say the Most Divisive Things: Asian Americans Protest Jimmy Kimmel

Asian-American protesters say a skit on Jimmy Kimmel Live contributes to a culture of violence

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Katy Steinmetz for TIME

Protestors in San Francisco carry signs protesting late-night-show host Jimmy Kimmel on Oct. 28, 2013, after a child made an unscripted comment earlier this month about how the U.S. should "kill everyone in China"

On Monday, protesters marched through the streets of San Francisco carrying pictures of funnyman Jimmy Kimmel’s face — with a Hitler mustache drawn above his lip and a swastika by his side. More than 100 people, largely Asian Americans, were still fuming about a skit that aired on Kimmel’s late-night show earlier this month.

In the midst of the government shutdown, Kimmel gathered a “kids’ table” to comment on the current state of affairs, similar to previous kids-say-the-darndest-things skits that Jimmy Kimmel Live has aired, whether asking youngsters to explain the national anthem or happenings in politics. When asked how America should pay back the money the U.S. owes to China, one child at the table suggested in an unscripted comment that America “kill everyone in China.” Kimmel chuckled and said, “O.K., that’s an interesting idea,” and soon jokingly asked a follow-up: “Should we allow the Chinese to live?” The kids gave mixed responses. (You can watch the video here.)

“We have a sense of humor,” the march’s leader Carl Chan said in a speech outside ABC headquarters. “But not at the expense of killing all Chinese.” Emphasizing that “kids will be kids,” many protesters argued that the problem was not the child’s comment but that Kimmel seemed to condone the idea and did not challenge it. Protest signs connected the skit to violence in the news. One alleged that ABC and Kimmel “teach kids killing today” and there’s “a school shooting tomorrow.”

ABC issued an apology late last week to one Asian-American group that complained about the skit, saying the segment will be edited out of future airings and online clips. The network has also released this comment to concerned viewers and consumer groups:

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Katy Steinmetz for TIME

“We offer our sincere apology. 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. We took swift action to minimize the distribution of the skit by removing it from all public platforms available to us and editing it out of any future airings of the show. We hope our actions and our apology effectively address your concerns. Thank you for bringing this to our attention.”

The boisterous group in San Francisco chanted, “Fire Jimmy Kimmel,” “Boycott ABC” and “No more racial hatred.” Through megaphones, they demanded a more elaborate apology and that an ABC representative come receive letters of protest. Many had organized through social media and in response to news on Chinese radio shows. “Today’s hate speech,” shouted Chan, an Oakland, Calif., resident who works in real estate, “becomes tomorrow’s hate crime.” When no one emerged from the building, Chan started another chant: “We will be back,” he said, echoed by the crowd. “Today is only the beginning.”

MORE: Poll: Jimmy Kimmel Leaves 90% of Chinese Angered, Saddened and On Guard

886 comments
JohnAdams1235
JohnAdams1235

China/Chinese isn't a race, so how is this a racial issue? Lol.

bvanstaalduinen
bvanstaalduinen

Replace "China" with "Canada" and this becomes a non-issue.  It was a joke that talked about a debt to a country, not a debt to a race.  

Nimrod
Nimrod

If ABC would have come clean in the beginning instead of writing private letters to private groups as if only a few figureheads need to be appeased, there would have been no protests at all.

SavetheWorld
SavetheWorld

All Chinese protesters or online commentators are employed by Chinese communists (China).

Overseas Chinese has rallied against the joke "Kill everyone in China" as solution to pay Chinese debt. The twist to these endless petitions however, is that the Chinese are actually PAID to do so. USD70 a day, plus a lunch-box, plus bottle of water, as paid by local New York Chinese Association, and allegedly by the Chinese Embassy.

The same tactic of mobilizing people to participate political demonstrations comes no surprise to people of Hong Kong. In a rally to support Chief Executive CY Leung's administration, held on the first day of 2013, about 100 man as discovered by multiple media that upon the petition, were paid $250 HKD.

Looking back at Kimmel's show, what the kid does is barely based on his unpolished gut feeling, where Kimmel has yet to ratify the answer. By general observation, it's safe to say that Chinese lacks sense of humour (where there is no synonym but only transliteration for the word "humour in Chinese).

ABC and Kimmel have already apologized, and canceled the segment. Why should Chinese keep pushing ABC to fire Kimmel? And now you are found to pay people who , well, just shame on you.

JollyJona
JollyJona

Enough! I am Asian American and the fact that you would be so outraged by a ludicrous joke is absurd. It's reckless and diminishes the true efforts against racial discrimination. It makes us look petty, which is why I am so personally upset by all you guys crying foul over this. How can we taken seriously when we fight true instances of racial stereotyping if we're creating an issue out of nothing?


Stop it with all you suggesting that we replace Chinese in the joke with Black, White, Jews, etc. Those are actually racial or religious groups and could be considered racist. You would need to replace Chinese with Canadian, American, Nigerian, Israeli. And if anyone took offense to a joke that was told in the same exact context but with a different country, I would be just as upset. If that same joke was told in Chinese media but with America being in the punchline, would you defend the country you call home? Probably not. But honestly, you shouldn't because it would just be a harmless joke. As an American-born Asian I would not be offended in the least bit.

haeryungkim192
haeryungkim192

Jimmy Kimmel Live is not really live. It is a pre-recorded program, reviewed and approved by ABC management team. The kid's words were not petent of that kid, but petented by ABC program writer. It was programmed, rehearsed, selected (among many others), reviewed, and finally approved to broadcast. Can anyone understand the procedure? That is the SOP (standard operating procedure) of ABC!

It's extremely disgusting to coach the kid to say "kill all xxxxxx".Jimmy Kimmel and his team coached the kids say killing, and effectively influence all US kids to think killing is an interesting idea. If one hears more killing in US school, don't be surprised, as many supported the killing program here. 

tim.arnold777
tim.arnold777

Murder to escape indebtedness is divisive regardless of what race or nationality is named. ABC should be fined and offer an apology for airing such a distasteful skit. ABC is Kimmel's boss and they approved the content. Kimmel should have responded in an appropriate way to the child's comment. Granted, kids say funny, stupid, and outrageous things because they have no filters. Kimmel has no excuse. He should have provided the filter and instead of, "OK, that's interesting..." how about, "No, that's murder...NOT OK!"

James556
James556

Should this be considered as indecency? hearing kids talking about killing others?

whiteguy
whiteguy

Promoting massive killing is crime and it's not freedom of speech.

Say No to "killing all Chinese"

Say No to "killing all Jewish"

Say No to "killing all African"

Say No to "killing all Spanish"

Say No to "killing All Indian"

Say No to "killing All White people"

Arrest Jimmy Kimmel for promoting terrorism.

PN
PN

Before White people arrived on America continent, there were 100 millions Native Americans lived in today United States, Canada and Mexico.White people murdered 95 millions Native Americans.Millions of Black Americans and African people were also suffered the same fate. The End of Chinese Exclusive Act, more than 50 percent of Chinese Americans died from it and they are still suffering today.These are the genocide facts that still haunt America today.It is funny for White people, because you were the one who do all killings.Why White people don’t understand that?Because they had never the experiences of what Native Americans, Black Americans and Chinese Americans went through. You will never understand it until once day, your family member get kill by blind White man because you could not see color, but he think that you are Black or Chinese person.For your information, Chinese Americans demands that ABC Media Corp stop profiting from selling hatred and promoting genocide on National TV. If you turn on your six ‘o clock news, there are shooting in the schools, shooting work in places and shooting everywhere period. Many of Chinese Americans may not speak English well, but they love America and want safe place for their kids.

joejoy1688
joejoy1688

Watching this little “innocent” boy talking about killing whole nation of people and you still wonder why we had Columbine and Sandy Hook …

proozza
proozza

I can't believe ABC would actually air this...

awalkingbird
awalkingbird

Hatred talk should never be broadcasted. If you have an Asian face and walk in the street. Some thugs yell to you, " go back to China". You know Killing Chinese is not a joke.  In 1980s, the Japanese were blamed for econ recession.  In Detroit, Vincent Jen Chin was beaten to death because of his Asian face.  Now, the politician and media are scapegoating the Chinese as the problem. If don't stop it now, such trajedy likely happens again.  We care.

LittleBuddha
LittleBuddha

This event shows how serious the many problems faced by the American society:  First, moral education about killing and genocide.  Second, financial responsibility about indebtedness.  Third, racial discrimination deeply rooted and inseminated since childhood.

This is a sad event for America...

JollyJona
JollyJona

If the city of Chicago was indebted to the city of New York, and as a joke they said well “we could kill everyone in New York to avoid paying them back” would that be racist? Absolutely not. I’d love to hear you argue that it is. That is in EXACTLY the same spirit of Jimmy Kimmel’s joke. It was referring to the nation of China in the context of us owing them money and how we can avoid paying it back.

The problem is, the people making issue out of this are confusing national pride with racism. They are only insulted by that comment because it was directed at China, not because it targeted a racial group (i.e. all Asians). These protestors should be ashamed of themselves. Just because they were personally offended by an innocuous joke that in no way speaks down on the people of China (it’s not like the joke says that they are inferior in anyway) or speaks to all Asians (or any other racial group for that matter) doesn’t mean they should go on some personal crusade and spin this as a racial issue when it’s not. They either know it’s not racist or they’re too stupid to grasp the difference between racism and a joke that targets a nation. Either way it’s inexcusable, reckless, and disparages the good name of Asian Americans. Had the joke truly spoke down on Asians with remarks of bigotry or racial stereotypes (which does in fact exist a lot in the media), then I'd support their efforts to put an end to that. But clearly they don't seem interested in issues of real racial injustice.

Their misguided sense of Chinese national pride and cultural differences have led them to find offense to something that is not. I would not be offended if that same joke referred to the country where my ancestors are from or if it were targeted at America. They fight for Asian Americans yet it’s clear that they have not even adopted the American way of life and attitude towards humor and comedy. Not one American-born Asian would find that joke offensive. These protestors should just shut up and stop speaking for Asian Americans, because clearly they are only out to serve their own self interest and don’t represent real Asian Americans. It’s shameful really.

AbbyStockton
AbbyStockton

@bvanstaalduinen 

But if it was Canada, Kimmel wouldn't have even had the skit in the first place.

banality
banality

@SavetheWorld "By general observation, it's safe to say that Chinese lacks sense of humour..."


So it's humorous for a child to say we should commit genocide?

Nimrod
Nimrod

@SavetheWorld Non-sense. The protests are grassroots, but by the looks of it you are almost certainly paid to post rumors defaming people. I wonder who paid you.

Nimrod
Nimrod

@JollyJona You're making quite a few assumptions here. Why do you assume these people call China home? They've settled in the US, have family here, contribute to the community, work and pay taxes, yet are treated by you and others as foreign. Who cares if you're offended or not. Who cares if you claim to be "Asian American" as if that's a badge that allows you to represent others. They are offended for reasons you may not understand, perhaps you should listen instead of being dismissive.

Apolitical_Misanthrope
Apolitical_Misanthrope

@haeryungkim192

That explains why Jimmy Kimmel got lousy writers. I find Jay Leno's and Conan O'Brien's writers much better.

Apolitical_Misanthrope
Apolitical_Misanthrope

@whiteguy 

Seeing Jimmy Kimmel getting screwed in the prison showers is an interesting idea.

Apolitical_Misanthrope
Apolitical_Misanthrope

@PN

I don't want to be rude man, but I don't see a good reason for them to protest. Jimmy Kimmel, his writers and Anne Sweeney should be locked up in the pen, that's for sure. On the other hand, we can have them transported to the PRC and execute them by a firing squad.

Apolitical_Misanthrope
Apolitical_Misanthrope

@proozza Try talking to Anne Sweeney. She's the CEO of Disney-ABC Media Group. She used to work for the FX Network, but hey, that's her 'Muricah life. BWAHAHAHA!

InvWha
InvWha

@proozza   Kimmel could have added several words to the boy at the end of show, like this " Guys,It's time for candy, but before that . [boy ] pls take back the idea of killing, which is not cool."

Thus, he aired the "joke", and escaped the later blame. 

Kimmel is brilliant people and experienced host, don't tell me, he doesn't know above .  But he still disdained not to anger Chinese people.  This is the point I have been insulted. 


Apolitical_Misanthrope
Apolitical_Misanthrope

@awalkingbird 

You want to know why it happened? It's because of Ronald Reagan. He spent tons of collateral damages in Afghanistan during the soviet union days and tons of deficits. That's the reason why the United States is simply barbaric and is accusing people of different national origins for something they didn't even do. Thomas Jefferson will be laughing and pointing at us from the skies by now.

Apolitical_Misanthrope
Apolitical_Misanthrope

@LittleBuddha

I have no problems with discriminating against another person's nationality. Sure, I like some Chinese people, but the government in the PRC is where they dropped the ball. If they want to support such one-party system, that's their problem. They're going to ask for war and chaos by 2050. Besides, I hate everyone equally no matter what gender, specie or nationality they are. In reality, Chinese is not a race. Humans are a race. How is this a racial issue? It isn't. Our national debt is the real issue here.

JohnAdams1235
JohnAdams1235

@LittleBuddha They already teach enough about how bad genocide is and financial responsibility and racial discrimination. By the way, this incident had nothing to do with race. Look up what a "race" is before adding that little snag.

CulturalBridge
CulturalBridge

@JollyJona Talking about confusing national pride with racism, try the following and see if Americans with ancestry from these nations would not raise an uproar:

Let's kill everyone in Ireland

Let's kill everyone in Italy

Let's kill everyone in Israel

By the way, what country were your ancestors originally from? Don't tell me you are of Native American heritage. 

ahaaaa
ahaaaa

@JollyJona a joke is something so absurd that it is not possible to happen. what the kids said happens in the past (chinese exclusion act not long time ago),  widely supported now (huffington post commented that it is the best ever talk show, numerous bloggers are saying there are too many chinese anyway), and likely to happen in the future  (hostile warships are at the doorstep of china). kids say the darndest things. killing all the bankers may be a joke now here in the states, but it is not a joke in a country on the verge of revolution and the bankers are ready to run for their lives. killing all the chinese is not a joke when chinese in china and in states are threatened already.  

lhyh9691
lhyh9691

@JollyJona Sure! A joke is a joke and this may not be about race. Kids just say the darndest things,...but is it right to teach/condone our children to say that to get out of a debt/responsibility is to kill off the creditor?  Are we back to the wild wild west?  This is the value we are teaching our kids, at the expense of a cheap laugh?  Bankers watch out!

PN
PN

@JollyJona

Before White people arrived on America continent, there were 100 millions Native Americans lived in today United States, Canada and Mexico.White people murdered 95 millions Native Americans.Millions of Black Americans and African people were also suffered the same fate. The End of Chinese Exclusive Act, more than 50 percent of Chinese Americans died from it and they are still suffering today.These are the genocide facts that still haunt America today.It is funny for White people, because you were the one who do all killings.Why White people don’t understand that?Because they had never the experiences of what Native Americans, Black Americans and Chinese Americans went through. You will never understand it until once day, your family member get kill by blind White man because you could not see color, but he think that you are Black or Chinese person.For your information, Chinese Americans demands that ABC Media Corp stop profiting from selling hatred and promoting genocide on National TV. If you turn on your six ‘o clock news, there are shooting in the schools, shooting work in places and shooting everywhere period. Many of Chinese Americans may not speak English well, but they love America and want safe place for their kids.

LynnLin
LynnLin

@JollyJona You should be ashamed of yourself for being racist and even worse than that is you don't even know it and it is deep in your blood. SHAME ON YOU!!

Peaceman
Peaceman

@JollyJona.  How can you speak for all American Asians. I am one and when I saw the video it made me cringe and uncomfortable when I heard that statement and then Jimmy asking should we let them all live. I dont think it is funny at all or entertaining. I find it very distasteful at best. You are very opinionated and need to wake up to what is true. They may have not intended to offend but it shows a lack of good judgement.  If the kid said lets kill all Blacks or Jews all women, etc, would you think that would be ok or funny? If you think that would be ok then you are the one who is misguided or are too stupid to know what is right or wrong.

rx300rx
rx300rx

@JollyJona 

Don't ignore the strong link between nation and race. Vincent Chin case was a good example. Vincent was Chinese American but he was beaten to death because of the American hostile sentiment toward Japan as a nation in the 80's. Hostility toward China can put all people with Asian faces to danger. You think it's not related to racism?

AlexSun
AlexSun

@JollyJona

1)The talk of killing is and should never be funny, especially a show that was scripted, recorded, and edited by teams of media professionals/overseers, and  then broadcasted nationwide.

2)China only holds a little more than 7% of the total US debt, and an average Chinese holds about $1000 US debt which is far lower than a Japanese about $5000, Brits, Arabs and above American, it would make a lot more sense to kill other US bond holders first instead of scapegoating Chinese.

3)Chinese Americans responded the way they did for a good reason because JK and ABC will not  choose to advocate killing all Jewish people for holding US bonds because they know what will happen next

4)Chinese need to boycott ABC’s mother company Disney at its new theme parks at Hongkong and Shanghai, and let Micky know it is never a joke to advocate killing Chinese or any other ppl.

Ray85
Ray85

JollyJona, I have to say you are totally wrong.

First, the comment in the show targeted Chinese, the people, not China, the country. How could you say "killing all Chinese" was not targeting a racial group? It has nothing to do with national pride or anything. It's abosulately racism and not funny at all.

Second, your "NY & Chicago" example is totally not comparable to this situation. NY and Chicago belong to the same country and there is no issue of racism at all. But do you happen to know Chinese and American are two different races? How could you compare "NY & Chicago" to "Chinese & American"? Apple vs Orange? What's your point?

Thirdly, just image a TV show commented that "killing all African". Please tell me if African American will be mad or not when the show is aired? I believe the answer will be predictable. Now please tell me again if they are confusing national pride with racism or not? 

cubbycats33
cubbycats33

Jona You may express yourself so eloquently here; however; you are a racist. If the skit had another ethicity, I bet that the same issue would come out. Remember, the Indian racial issue when Ashton Kutcher dressed up as an Indian guy. What happened there? Oh wait! That was just an act! What happen to the American humor. I guess little kids expressing to annihilate an entire race is suffice-- like the Jews during WWII.

KillingIsNotAJoke
KillingIsNotAJoke

@JollyJona I agree that it's lack of evidence to call JK a racist just based on the skit, but the fact that JK/ABC allowed this skit to air is questionable, especially JK had the experience of apologizing for his statement about burning down Detroit if LA lost the 2004 NBA finals and that show was pulled out by ABC before it's aired. 

BTW, I think the Chicago vs. New York joke is also a bad one. 

Apolitical_Misanthrope
Apolitical_Misanthrope

@Nimrod What's funny that the Chinese are the first ones to make firearms. It's not the US citizens who invented them. Hell, they invented a lot of stuff too.

banality
banality

@JohnAdams1235 @LittleBuddha   

Oh, but teaching about how bad genocide, financial debt, and discrimination is doesn't necessarily mean the problem has been solved.

And stop with your snide, condescending comments. You knew what he meant; no, it's not racial discrimination, but it is discrimination based on nationality. And either way, it's a discriminatory remark made by a child.

Apolitical_Misanthrope
Apolitical_Misanthrope

@LynnLi

Chinese is not a race, it's a nationality and a group of dialects. Being racist means a person hating another bipedal specie. Like a race of martians, arbiters, helghasts or predators. Hahahaha.

Peaceman
Peaceman

@JollyJona. How about we ask the kids how to solve unwanted pregnancies and one of them replies let's kill all the women. Of course now this would be a joke and we should laugh it off right? It was a joke. Are you still with me?

Apolitical_Misanthrope
Apolitical_Misanthrope

@rx300rx

To me, it's about being a jingoist moron. I want to love this country too, but the citizens here can be so conservative. That, my friend, is hypocrisy.

Apolitical_Misanthrope
Apolitical_Misanthrope

@AlexSun

1. It isn't, but seeing Jimmy Kimmel dead is funny to me. That man isn't going to have his show for long.

2. FYI, the United States have been borrowing money from the PRC and never pay them back. It's not only the PRC who gave the staters money, it's everyone, sister.

3. They know war will come. With the help of the Russians, of course. Come on...

4. Theme parks? What are you, high? No, seeing Anne Sweeney dead is an interesting idea.

MKX00
MKX00

@Ray85  OR if a non-caucasian kid on the JK show exclaimed about "killing all caucasians in the US", I'm sure ABC/JK show would have ensured that said "skit" would never ever reach the airwave.

KillingIsNotAJoke
KillingIsNotAJoke

@cubbycats33 JollyJona and some others who have commented below reminded me about racists more than JK himself. 

What is "American way of life and attitude" and why there are people who couldn't move on from the Chinese-Americans' peaceful protests but keep on asking others to move on from the offensive joke?

If the history can be rewinded, I won't be surprised to see the same people request the Native Americans to adopt to their way of life.

banality
banality

@JohnAdams1235 @MKX00  LOL. How exactly are MKX00 and Ray85 racist? How exactly are they stupid? Seems to me that the one making ridiculously baseless accusations is the racist, stupid one. 

Why don't you try and make a relevant comment next time?

JohnAdams1235
JohnAdams1235

@MKX00 BOOOHOOOO, Chinese isn't a race. So you're comparing apples and grapes here. And there has been such things said on TV. And your stupidity and racism is just ludicrous! What I find even more ironic is that you think that only whites can be racist, when in fact you're a racist punk, too!