Yes, the kid on Jimmy Kimmel who said “kill everyone in China,” was taken seriously — as least as far as certain groups could use the statement to push their own agendas.
Yes, the kid on Jimmy Kimmel who said “kill everyone in China,” was taken seriously — as least as far as certain groups could use it to push their own agendas.
It was a comedy routine meant to satirize the US federal government in the midst of their lock out squabble — saying that they’re acting like children or something — and Kimmel invited children onto the show, well, to act like children. Apparently, the kids were supposed to say ridiculous things to mock those in the US government, and they came through in full:
Upon being asked by Kimmel what the US should do about the debt they own to China, one kid said, “kill everyone in China.”
It wasn’t funny, but it definitely wasn’t serious. The kid’s role was to say something ridiculous, and no matter how unfunny what he said was, it was, by all accounts, supposed to be ridiculous.
Various Asian American advocacy groups and other self-appointed PC speech regulators latched onto the story, and twisted the satire/ dumb comedy/ ridiculous remark out of context to push their broader agenda into the public light.
A statement from the AAPA (Asian Americans for Political Advancement):
The AAPA regards Jimmy Kimmel’s apology in person to the protesters as another positive step. However, ABC should apologize to all Chinese through its nationally aired program. ABC should also commit that hatred statements cannot be joked about and promise it will not happen again. AAPA as many other protests against ABC around the US have demonstrated to the US media, politicians and the whole society that Chinese Americans will not tolerate any hatred statements. We, Chinese Americans, have learned and united from this. We will fight for our dignity till the end.”
The outraged produced a petition with over 77,000 signatures urging the Obama administration to investigate the broadcast, and in the process provided fodder for the Chinese propaganda machine.
Various Chinese media sources picked up on the story and, fueled by the demonstrations and public statements by Asian Americans, marketed the Kimmel kid’s remark as being a serious indicator of American attitudes towards Chinese people.
From the Global Times:
In a skit on “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” a child had said that killing all Chinese people would save the US from paying its debt. Kimmel’s reply to which was, “that’s an interesting idea.”
Although the comment was made by a child, the episode has in some ways, offered a reflection of mainstream public opinion in the US on China . . .
It is difficult to read what the US is really thinking when it looks at China especially with China expected to play a bigger role in geopolitics alongside the US in future.
As could be expected, the spiral of ridiculousness kept descending from there, and eventually a video surfaced explaining to American children the various reasons why they shouldn’t kill all the people in China (oddly, “because genocide is bad” was not one of them). The video starts out with a stereotyped cartoon of a “China man” as the narrator, saying, “OK kids, you really have a lot of good ideas for the US government debt, however, as one of your creditors I may not like your idea of killing us . . .” and descends even further from there:
Basically, the moral of the video is that Americans should be grateful for Chinese people because they sacrifice themselves and their environment for their benefit, so they’d only be hurting themselves if they killed them all.
While this video projects the position that China’s problems are the result of other countries — as if the contaminated food, horrible air, huge underclass, and a degraded environment don’t result in a lot of Chinese people making A LOT of money — there is an underlying point that rings very true:
The USA and China have an deeply interwoven symbiotic economic relationship, both countries need each other, and neither is going to be going to the other side of the world and killing anybody anytime soon — which renders the Kimmel kid’s statement all the more inane.
About the Author: VBJ
I am the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. I’ve been traveling the world since 1999, through 90 countries. I am the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China and have written for The Guardian, Forbes, Bloomberg, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. VBJ has written 3679 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.
VBJ is currently in: Papa Bay, Hawaii