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Jimmy Kimmel is in hot water!
On Saturday, hundreds of protesters targeted ABC Studios in Burbank, Houston, and Phoenix to protest the Oct. 16 segment of "Jimmy Kimmel Live" where one of the late night host's tiniest guests suggested that we should "kill everyone in China."
The comment was made by a young boy during an unscripted segment called "Kids' Table," after Kimmel asked a roundtable of children how the United States should repay its $1.3 trillion debt to China. Both ABC and Kimmel have since apologized for the comment, and are no longer airing "Kids' Table."
ABC said at the time, "We offer our sincere apology. We would never purposefully broadcast anything to upset the Chinese community, Asian community, anyone of Chinese descent, or any community at large. Our objective is to entertain." Kimmel added, "I just want to say I am sorry. I apologize. It was certainly not my intent to upset anyone."
However, Chinese-American groups and protesters refuse to accept the apology. ABC Studios has not responded to Yahoo TV's request for comment regarding the protests.
According to a Burbank Police Department spokesperson, crowds "swelled up to 1,500 protestors" at the 2300 block of Riverside Drive after some demonstrators went into a restricted area near ABC Studios at 9:30 a.m. By 11 a.m., Burbank police had responded to the scene, but no arrests were made. By 12:30 p.m., the crowds had dispersed.
Less than 400 miles away, one hundred protesters gathered outside the ABC 15 studios in Phoenix. In response to the controversial skit, they chanted, "Teach kids no hatred," "No fake apology," and "Shame on you ABC" for 20 minutes, before relocating to protest near 44th and Van Buren streets, reported ABC15 news.
In Houston, several hundred protesters reportedly flooded the intersection of Westheimer and Post Oak Blvd. and urged ABC to stop racism against the Chinese and fire Jimmy Kimmel.
Twitter was also peppered with tweets and videos from the protests.
Last month, protesters lined up outside of ABC studios in New York City and held signs that compared the late night host to Hitler and accused him of "manipulating children."
The backlash toward Kimmel's apology has even caught the attention of the White House. A petition requesting that ABC and Kimmel be held responsible for the comments was posted to the White House's website and nabbed more than 100,000 signatures, which requires an official statement from the White House.
“Every petition that crosses the threshold will be reviewed by the appropriate staff and receive a response,” White House spokesman Matt Lehrich told omg! Insider. “We do our best to respond to those petitions in a timely fashion, but, depending on a variety of factors including the topic and the overall volume of petitions, response times vary.” In other words — a few weeks, maybe a few months.
Do you think ABC and Jimmy Kimmel deserve the nationwide backlash?
Watch the clip that's caused all the controversy right here: