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ABC issues statement to apologize for offensive talk show skit

English.news.cn   2013-11-11 16:58:14            

People rally in front of the headquarters of the American Broadcasting Company (ABC) to protest against its rhetoric of racial discrimination in Burbank, California, the United States, Nov. 9, 2013. In ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live" show aired on Oct. 16, a boy shouted, "Kill everyone in China!" when Kimmel asked how the United States should do about the 1.3 trillion U.S. dollars debt owed to China. Kimmel laughed and said, "That's an interesting idea." (Xinhua/Zhang Chaoqun)

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by Liu Si

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 10 (Xinhua) -- American Broadcasting Company (ABC) has issued a statement on its website to apologize for its airing of a talk show segment which has been widely considered racism among the Chinese community, ABC's spokesperson confirmed to Xinhua on Sunday.

In a press release titled "Statement on behalf of ABC Entertainment and Jimmy Kimmel Live!", dated Nov. 8, the broadcaster also promised to strengthen its review process and take other steps to "prevent this type of issue from happening again."

On Saturday, Xinhua News Agency Los Angeles Bureau received an apology statement under the name of Hope Hartman, who is ABC's communications vice president. Xinhua correspondents tried to telephone and email Hartman right after receiving the letter but got no replies.

On Sunday morning, Hartman, using her title as ABC spokesperson, wrote back to Xinhua to confirm Saturday's statement, adding that ABC has "issued this apology several times already."

The statement admitted that "The simple fact is, 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."

ABC said in the statement that the company has done everything in its power "to ensure that the segment receives no further exposure", and the offending skit has been edited out of any future broadcast of that episode.

"We have taken down the clip from all of our online platforms and the show has decided to forego any future segments of 'Kids Table'," said the statement.

ABC also said that the company has strengthened its review process and several new safeguards have been put in place to both their Broadcast Standards & Practices and Entertainment Programming areas "to ensure that segments like this are immediately brought to the attention of appropriate senior executives who can address them appropriately."

In the "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" show on Oct. 16, host Kimmel asked children on how the United States should deal with the government shutdown and the national debt owed to China. One of the children commented that the United States should "kill everyone in China," creating an uproar in the Chinese community.

Critics said that Kimmel was wrong for not stopping the comment and failing to explain to the children that it was not the right idea, and even worse the ABC failed to remove the comment from the show, which had been taped before it went on air.

The offensive comment has sparked indignation and protests from the Chinese community. ABC has previously sent a letter to a Chinese American organization to apologize and Kimmel himself has made apologies in his show on Oct. 28 and to Chinese Americans in front of his studio at Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles on Oct. 30.

"ABC is spreading hatred, fascism" in its program, said Wang Xingwu, vice chairman of Chinese American Association of Greater Chicago.

Wang Lei, chairman of University of Chicago Chinese Students and Scholars Association, said Kimmel's and ABC's apology "is not sincere."

"Apology is not enough, we need action," Qiu Chaolian, honorary chairman of Chinese American Association of Greater Chicago, told Xinhua.

Michael and Julie Chinchirillo, an Illinois couple who were shopping in Chicago, said they decided to "get involved for a little bit, let the voice be known."

Michael believed that "someone in Jimmy Kimmel's position should not be making a statement like this." "He is in a position where people listen to him, believe in him, he just has to be careful for what he says."

Julie said, "This is not a joke, even if he is making a joke, it's not a joke."

On Saturday, more than 10,000 Chinese Americans altogether in 27 cities across the United States protested against Kimmel and the offensive skit.

Related:

Thousands at ABC headquarters to protest against racism

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 9 (Xinhua) -- Thousands of Chinese Americans and their supporters rallied at the American Broadcasting Company (ABC) headquarters here Saturday to protest against a skit the company aired.Full Story

Hundreds in Chicago protest against ABC's racial discrimination rhetoric

CHICAGO, Nov. 7 (Xinhua) -- About 400 Chinese scholars, students and Chinese Americans gathered on Thursday in front of the building of the American Broadcasting Company (ABC) Chicago Branch to protest against its rhetoric of racial discrimination.Full Story

Editor: Mengjie
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