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ABC issues ‘heartfelt’ apology for Kids Table

By Jiang Jie Source:Global Times Published: 2013-11-12 1:13:01

A "heartfelt, sincere apology" on behalf of "American Broadcasting Company (ABC) Entertainment and Jimmy Kimmel Live!" was recently posted on the abcmedianet.com, which said the company had decided to drop future segments of the controversial "Kids Table," the Xinhua News Agency reported on Monday.

Hosted by American comedian Jimmy Kimmel, the program had shown a child saying that "everyone in China" should be killed as a way to save the US from paying its $1.3-trillion China debt in its "Kids Table" segment.

Racial rights and other advocacy groups were infuriated when Kimmel responded to the remark by calling it "an interesting idea."

"The simple fact is that the segment should never have been broadcast. Systems we have in place for these types of things did not function properly, and steps have been made to try and prevent this kind of egregious mistake from occurring in the future," read the ABC statement.

An apology letter purportedly written by Kimmel was posted on one of Xinhua's official Sina Weibo accounts on Monday. In the letter, written in Chinese, Kimmel said that he felt sorry and "it was not his intention to offend anyone."

The apology came after thousands of people demonstrated in the US on Saturday against Kimmel's show.

Wang Tian, a protest organizer in Los Angeles, who found the apology acceptable, told the Global Times that he hoped such incidents will never occur.

But others did not feel the same way.

Some overseas Chinese reached by the Global Times said the apology failed to specify the recipients and was not placed in an obvious viewing position on the ABC website. "Plus, no one was punished," said Swan Lee, a protester from Boston.

Another protester from San Francisco by the last name Wang called Kimmel's letter "meaningless" as it had failed to mention anything about racism. Protesters also plan to file for lawsuits to get Kimmel fired.

"(The comment) does not reflect on Chinese Americans but more on China. Many in America believe that China has too much power and money already and therefore it is acceptable to be openly hostile to Chinese," Gordon H. Chang, a history professor at Stanford University, told the Global Times.

China's Foreign Ministry on Monday asked the ABC to acknowledge its misconduct in broadcasting the program and respond to the Chinese community's demands in a sincere way.

"Spreading racism and hatred goes against the media's social responsibility. ABC should prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future," said Qin Gang, China's foreign ministry spokesman, at a regular media conference on Monday.

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