Jimmy Kimmel is under fire for a comedy skit where a six-year-old boy suggests how the U.S. can pay back what we owe China.
The late night host was asking a panel of kids about the national debt, and jokingly followed up with another question about what to do about the 1.35 billion population of China.
In the skit, Kimmel asked a group of kids, “America owes China a lot of money, $1.3 trillion. How should we pay them back?”
A six-year-old responded, “Kill everyone in China!”
Kimmel replied, “Kill everyone in China. That's an interesting idea. Should we allow the Chinese to live?”
The kids had divided responses of "No" and "Yes."
It was all meant to be funny, but it's now stirring outrage, with one internet commentator writing: "It would be totally unacceptable had the comments been directed at any other group, be it blacks, Jews, Mexicans, whatever."
Another is coming to Kimmel's defense, "This is a comedy show. Don't take things so seriously."
A petition on The White House website protesting the skit has been signed by almost 66,000 people.
ABC is apologizing for the Kimmel skit, saying in a statement: "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."
ABC also said it would edit out the material to prevent it from ever being re-aired.