LANHAM, Md. (CBSDC) — The White House has issued a response to a “We the People” petition that asked for the cancellation of “Jimmy Kimmel Live.”
The petition-writer, whose letter got more than 100,000 signatures, was disturbed by a segment of an October episode of Kimmel’s show during which a child suggested the U.S. “kill everyone in China” in order to absolve its debt to the People’s Republic.
“I was very disturbed by Jimmy Kimmel’s ‘Kids Table’ show,” the letter says. “It was aired on ABC recently and talked about killing all the Chinese so that the states do not need to pay back their debts to China. 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 program, which promotes racial hatred. The program is totally unacceptable and it must be cut. A sincere apology must be issued. It is extremely distasteful and this is the same rhetoric used in Nazi Germany against Jewish people. Please immediately cut the show and issue a formal apology.”
The White House response reads:
“Thank you for your petition. Your petition requested an apology from those involved, and to ‘cut the show.’
The parties involved have already apologized independently. Jimmy Kimmel has apologized on-air, and issued a written apology. ABC has removed the skit from future broadcasts, taken the clip down from online platforms, and detailed several changes in its programming review process in response to this incident. You can find more about Jimmy Kimmel’s apology here, and ABC’s apology here.
On a broader level, as the President has stated publicly, the United States welcomes the continuing peaceful rise of China. The comments you are writing about do not reflect mainstream views of China in the United States.
The Federal government cannot force ABC to remove this show. The First Amendment of the Constitution protects free speech, even if individuals might personally find it offensive or distasteful. It may be upsetting when people say things we might personally disagree with, but the principle of protected free speech is an important part of who we are as a nation.
If you think this issue merits additional scrutiny, you may file a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission by visiting FCC.gov/Complaints. The FCC is an independent agency that regulates the airwaves without input or consideration from the White House.”