WASHINGTON, D.C. (Nov. 23, 2013) — The Organizations of Chinese Americans, Asian Pacific American Advocates, a national membership driven organization dedicated to advancing the political, social, and economic well-being of Asian Pacific Americans (APA), continues to pressure Jimmy Kimmel Live representatives and American Broadcasting Company (ABC) executives to hold themselves accountable for the “kill all the Chinese” comment by pushing for an Federal Communications Commission (FCC) investigation and directly contacting sponsors of the show.
As previously mentioned, on Oct. 16, 2013, Jimmy Kimmel Live aired a skit titled “Kids Table” where a child proposed “kill all the Chinese” as a political solution to the United States’ debt. Since then, the Asian Pacific American community held various protests and petitions calling for apologies, disciplinary action, and investigations into the incident. One petition launched on “We the People”, the official petition website for the White House, has gained over 100,000 signatures.
Since the broadcast of the “kill all the Chinese” comment on Jimmy Kimmel Live, OCA has been in active dialogue with ABC executives; filed a formal complaint with the FCC to address the xenophobic rhetoric and the community’s concern about the welfare of all children involved in the segment; and engaged the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus and the White House Initiative on Asian American and Pacific Islanders to support efforts seeking to ensure that similar incidents are not repeated in the future. Over 30 days have passed since the incident occurred, and while phone calls and e-mail communication have been exchanged between OCA, partner organizations, and ABC, OCA has yet to receive a definite commitment to an in-person meeting with ABC executives and Jimmy Kimmel representatives.
“Prejudice, discrimination, and racism against Asian Pacific Americans in the media are not isolated incidents. This Jimmy Kimmel segment is only the latest event containing hateful language and negative portrayals of Asian Pacific Americans. We have been, and continue to be, the target of hate, both on-screen and in our personal lives,” says Sharon M. Wong, OCA President, “We are tired of being used as convenient scapegoats and demonized by the media. It is for this reason that our community has come together in such large waves to protest and petition Jimmy Kimmel. This incident has even gained the attention of the Chinese Canadian National Council. We want justice, and ABC and the Jimmy Kimmel show must be held accountable for their actions.”
The Asian Pacific American community continues to demand accountability from ABC and Jimmy Kimmel. OCA will meet with FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai in the coming week to continue pursuing a formal investigation and will actively discuss OCA’s concerns with the sponsors of Jimmy Kimmel Live.
“This incident is not about challenging the Freedom of Speech,” says Tom Hayashi, OCA Executive Director, “It is about perpetuating hate by broadcasting offensive remarks from children who have yet to fully understand the difference between right and wrong. When minors are used in non-scripted programming and respond in hateful ways to prompted questions, the network has an obligation to remove the material. They should also debrief the children and their families to ensure that such ideas are not promulgated. In order to accomplish this, our community must continue to put the pressure on ABC, Jimmy Kimmel Live, their sponsors, and the FCC to ensure that they are responsive and that this never happens again. It took 200,000 complaints to the FCC before they investigated the Janet Jackson wardrobe malfunction incident during the 2000 Super Bowl. We need to exceed that number and demand action from the agency. And while the e-petitions and the demonstrations have helped us get to where we are, we will continue to be rendered invisible in their eyes if we do not raise our voices through action.”
OCA chapter members, lay advocates, and interested individuals can file a form 2000e complaint with the FCC HERE. Additionally, individuals can support OCA’s efforts to pull sponsorship from Jimmy Kimmel sponsors by contacting the corporations listed on the OCA website. A sample message that can be used when contacting sponsors is as follows:
“Jimmy Kimmel Live continues to harm the Asian Pacific American community through the usage of children to promote hateful ideas and language. I am not only deeply concerned about my community but also about the welfare of the children co-opted as part of the program and how the show perpetuates hatred by exposing children to this sort of dialogue and language. Please stop sponsoring Jimmy Kimmel Live until they are held to account for their actions.”