Even after the U.S. network ABC released an apology, many in the Chinese community are still outraged over an Oct. 16 skit that appeared on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" The TV skit, which featured Jimmy Kimmel asking a roundtable of children about American politics, particularly U.S. debt to China, ended up being the target of many angry Chinese-Americans.
During the segment, Kimmel asks the children what they think the U.S. should do about its hundreds of billions of dollars of debt to China. One 6-year-old responds by saying a solution would be to “kill everyone in China.”
China’s mainstream media picked up the story and even spoke to Kimmel while on his late-night talk show’s set. Below is an excerpt of the segment that aired on state-run CCTV’s both Chinese and English language channels:
While being prodded by a CCTV reporter, asking if he thought killing Chinese was funny, Kimmel, who appears to be wearing a T-shirt with a Chinese character for "peace" on it, responded by defending the remarks made by the kid, saying, “Well I don’t think it was a joke, I think it was just something that a child said.”
The line of questioning seems to be aimed at trying to get Kimmel to admit some type of racial discrimination, but is mostly not successful. The reporter even goes on to ask Kimmel if he would have aired a skit where a child would’ve suggested killing all the people in Africa.
Kimmel took a jab at China’s state-media when he was answering another reporter that asked what he thought of some people pooling their money in an attempt to sue Kimmel. “Well in America we have the freedom of the press, and if they want to waste their money suing me, I’d recommend they don’t do that, but that’s their choice.”
The original skit went viral among many Chinese thanks in large part to social media microblogging platform Sina Weibo, which is similar to Twitter. While the video was passed around online both in the U.S. and in China, the response was mixed -- some people saw the skit as humorous while others were outraged enough to sign a White House petition.