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ABC offered its “sincere apologies” in a letter, said Shien Biau Woo President of the National Asian American Political Action Committee.
In the ABC show Jimmy Kimmel Live, which aired on October 16, the host asked children how the US should deal with the government shutdown and the debt owed to China.
One of the children on the show said that the United States should “kill everyone in China.”
“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,” ABC said in the letter.
A petition on the White House website against the show said the contents of the programme promoted “racial hatred”. The petition has received more than 56,000 signatures to date.
“The kids might not know anything better. However, Jimmy Kimmel and ABC’s management are adults. They had a choice not to air this racist programme, which promotes racial hatred,” read the petition statement.
Critics said that Kimmel made a mistake by not correcting the children about the “wrong idea”, and also pointed out the negligence of ABC in failing to remove the comment from the show.
The television network has stressed that it has “taken swift action” and removed the comment from all platforms and promised to “edit it out of any future airing of the show.”