White House responds to petition regarding Jimmy Kimmel's "Kill everyone in China" comment

"The comments you are writing about do not reflect mainstream views of China in the United States."

Back in the fall, Jimmy Kimmel Live aired a segment called "Kids Table," in which Jimmy Kimmel sat down with precocious kids to talk about the state of the nation. During the discussion, one of the kids suggested that we "kill everyone in China." The moment made it on the air. It made a lot of people very upset.

The "kill everyone in China" comment went viral, and in addition to protests attended by thousands around the country, someone started a We the People petition calling for the Obama administration to "immediately cut the show and issue a formal apology." Since the petition surpassed 100,000 signatures -- the threshold for an official response -- the White House was compelled to release a statement on the matter.

It's pretty much what you'd expect. The White House response points out that the parties involved have already apologized, the federal government can't force ABC to remove the show, and you know, free speech and stuff:

Official White House Response to
Investigate Jimmy Kimmel Kid's Table Government Shutdown Show on ABC Network

What We Have to Say About Jimmy Kimmel

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.
More here: White House: We Can't Force Jimmy Kimmel Off the Air

angry archive