Two weeks ago, late night comic Jimmy Kimmel asked a roundtable of 6 and 7-year-old children what the U.S. should do about $1.3 trillion of debt owed to China. “Kill everyone in China,” one boy suggested, sparking a candy-fueled debate among his peers, but the remark drew much fiercer objections from China’s blogosphere, where tens of thousands of people have voiced their anger on forums, online polls, and a petition to the White House, ultimately eliciting a public apology from Kimmel’s parent network, ABC.
The petition, which called the skit “extremely distasteful,” has gathered 63,000 signatures and counting, and an online poll, translated by Chinasmack, gauged reactions to the skit that ranged from “Guarded” (33%) to “Angry” (32%), but rarely ever “Indifferent” (10%).
Like any online poll, it represents a small and vocal subset of the population, but it taps into a deeper current of resentment against American media. 61% of respondents believed the remark was an “inevitable” consequence of China’s demonization “at all levels of American society.” And throughout the poll, a majority of respondents saw no humor in the kid’s remark, because of a widespread impression that when it comes to American media, it’s not only the kids who say the darndest things.