“Jimmy Kimmel Live,” Disney’s ABC late-night show, aired a segment 10/16 where a little blond-haired boy told Kimmel that the U.S. should fix its financial problems by killing all the people in China. Kimmel followed up on the comment by asking the other children on the panel, “Should we allow the Chinese to live?” Now the Chinese government, its citizens and Chinese-Americans are upset and have demanded apologies from Kimmel and ABC, which they did get. But was it enough of an apology?
Now the Chinese government calling on the network to “respond to the Chinese community’s demand in a sincere way,” the official Xinhua news agency reported. According to Xinhua, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang added that “spreading racism and hatred goes against the media’s social responsibility.”
Here’s ABC’s 11/8 apology: “Please accept our heartfelt, sincere apology. The simple fact is, the segment should never have been broadcast…Steps have been made to try and prevent this kind of egregious mistake from occurring in the future.”
The problem for Disney is if anti-ABC protests in the U.S. turn into anti-Disney protests in China, it could hinder the the opening and success Shanghai Disneyland, now under construction in Shanghai. Scheduled to open in 2015, the resort will have two hotels. The park will “blend classic Disney storytelling and characters with all-new attractions and experiences tailored specifically for the people of China,” Disney says on its website.
Says a Bloomberg Businessweek story: “Disney is also planning the world’s biggest Disney Store, a 53,000-square-foot complex in Pudong that will include a 10,800-square-foot store, plus an outdoor plaza. The company is targeting Chinese families through its Disney English-language centers, and it is supporting Chinese entrepreneurs through its venture capital arm, Steamboat Ventures. The VC fund has invested in more than a dozen Chinese startups and last month joined with four additional funds to put $50 million into Beijing-based mobile game developer Chukong Technologies. Fortunately for Disney, the company has a valuable ally in China. State-owned Shanghai Shendi Group is Disney’s partner in the $4.4 billion Shanghai project. That should help Disney control the damage to its image among Chinese consumers.”
RBR-TVBR observation: What a blunder. But the producers likely had no idea the child would answer the question in that way. If they did, someone is likely to lose their job. The boy has probably overheard adults talking about the fact that our economy is faltering because everything is now manufactured in China, while thousands of our factories have long been shuttered. That blame goes to our government’s trade policies and cost of doing business here in the states, not the Chinese people.
Nonetheless, the Chinese state-run media has published a lot of anti-American content and commentary over the years, including military plans to kill us all, so those living in glass houses…