A “We the People” petition to investigate Jimmy Kimmel Live! for a controversial joke made on a recent broadcast has passed the 100,000-signature threshold, forcing the White House to respond. The effort against the late-night talkshow was launched after a child on the show suggested the best way to deal with the United States’s debt to China is to “kill everyone” in that country.
“They had a choice not to air this racist program, which promotes racial hatred,” the petition reads. “The program is totally unacceptable and it must be cut.”
The “Kids Table” is a regular feature of the show in which Kimmel asks children questions about current events. The particular segment took place during the October 16 broadcast. While both Kimmel, who hosted the 2012 White House Correspondents’ Dinner, and ABC have apologized for the unscripted comments made by the young boy, petitioners say that’s not enough.
“It is extremely distasteful and this is the same rhetoric used in Nazi Germany against Jewish people,” the petition continued. Outside his studio, protesters carried signs depicting Kimmel as Hitler. One Chinese firm produced a video responding to the incident.
Petitioners amassed the 100,000 signatures well before the one-month deadline of November 18. This is the first petition to surpass the threshold in months. The White House said it will respond to the petition on its website.