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Back in October, Jimmy Kimmel created a controversy with a skit in which he agreed with a child who suggested the U.S. should kill Chinese to get rid of the U.S.’ debt. A petition on the White House website asked for ABC to cancel the show and on Friday, the Obama administration finally responded.
In the skit, which aired on the Oct. 16 episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live, Kimmel asked children what the U.S. should do to get rid of the country’s debt to China. “Kill everyone in China,” one boy said, to which Kimmel replied “That’s an interesting idea.” ABC and Kimmel were immediately under fire and the network later apologized, removing the skit from future airings of the episode and online.
However, a petition showed up on WhiteHouse.gov’s We The People page, seeking to get Kimmel’s show cancelled. It received over 100,000 signatures, which means that the White House has to issue a response.
The White House finally issued a response this week, noting that ABC and Kimmel’s apologies should be adequate.
“On a broader level, as the President has stated publicly, the United States welcomes the continuing peaceful rise of China,” the president’s staff said. “The comments you are writing about do not reflect mainstream views of China in the United States.”
However, the administration said that it can’t force ABC to cancel a show, citing freedom of speech.
“The First Amendment of the Constitution protects free speech, even if individuals might personally find it offensive or distasteful,” the statement read. “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.”
In conclusion, the administration suggested that if anyone has a complaint with what airs on national television, they can file a complaint with the FCC.