It’s incredible that a joke has come to this, that it has. A silly comment on ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live” has become an issue of international importance, with China’s Foreign Ministry weighing in and the White House now obligated to respond.
The joke occurred on October 16, when Kimmel held a “kids’ table” segment on the government shutdown. “America owes China a lot of money, $US1.3 trillion. How should we pay them back?” Kimmel asked.
One child suggested “killing everyone in China.”
ABC has since removed the clip, but here’s a version of it from the South China Morning Post:
It took a while for the controversy to snowball, but once it did, it really did — protesters were soon outside Kimmel’s Hollywood studio holding signs comparing him to Adolf Hitler:
Today things got official. “ABC should face its mistake head on, and respond with a sincere attitude to the reasonable demands by Chinese in America, and prevent a similar incident from occurring again,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang told state-run CCTV on Monday, according to the Wall Street Journal.
In America, too, an official response should be on its way. A White House petition called “Investigate Jimmy Kimmel Kid’s Table Government Shutdown Show on ABC Network” has received more than 100,000 signatures, meaning that it requires a formal response from the President Barack Obama’s office. According to Time, the White House is planning to address the controversy in an online post.
At this point its hard to know exactly what will end the controversy — both Kimmel and ABC have already apologized and the clip has already been removed by ABC — and, according to the WSJ, Kimmel has been filmed telling Chinese reporters to sue him.
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