Suggesting the era of kids saying things and the world declaring them the darnedest is rapidly dwindling to a close, Jimmy Kimmel has once again come under fire for a sketch in which he put words in the mouths of children, nature’s funny little Muppets. While his last such sketch earned the ire and Photoshops of Kanye West, his latest was aimed at the arguably just as powerful China, when one of the participants in his “Kids Table”—an adorable, genocidal lad named Braxton—proposed that America “kill all the people in China” as a means of getting rid of U.S. debt.
Naturally, outrage was swift over this expression of an opinion most pundits would never actually say out loud, because they know better than to drink a lot of juice before going on the air, with some 67,000 people signing a White House petition demanding the Obama administration finally fulfill its campaign promises and cancel Jimmy Kimmel’s program, then force him to issue an apology. “It is extremely distasteful and this is the same rhetoric used in Nazi Germany against Jewish people,” they said, which also means maybe Braxton should be grounded.
Although Braxton’s remarks seemed to be off the cuff and of his own tiny, black heart, the more than 100 protestors who gathered outside ABC headquarters yesterday say the problem was not that they believed a 6-year-old was basically Hitler, as that would obviously be an extreme reaction. It was the fact that producers saw no problem with airing it, with protestors acknowledging that “kids will be kids”—and Braxtons will be Braxtons—but also that Kimmel “seemed to condone the idea and did not challenge it” when talking with him for his TV skit. Ergo, they carried placards saying Jimmy Kimmel was basically Hitler, depicting him with a Hitler mustache and swastika. Protestors also suggested that Kimmel and his show “teach kids killing today” and there’s “a school shooting tomorrow” (which, damn, what are your kids doing up watching Jimmy Kimmel? Bedtimes save lives).
ABC has since issued a formal apology to “the Chinese community, Asian community, anyone of Chinese descent or any community at large,” saying it has scrubbed the skit from future broadcasts and all its available digital platforms. Meanwhile, Braxton has yet to issue his own apology, likely just plotting to kill everyone in the whole world so he never has to.