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ABC apologized for offensive skit

Updated: 2013-11-11 17:26
( Xinhua)

ABC apologized for offensive skit

Protestors gather outside ABC-TV’s headquarters in New York City on November 8 to protest a skit on the Jimmy Kimmel show.[Wan Li/for China Daily]

LOS ANGELES - American Broadcasting Company (ABC) has apologized for its airing of a talkshow segment which has been widely considered racism among the Chinese community, ABC's spokesperson confirmed exclusively to Xinhua on Sunday.

The broadcaster also promised to strengthen its review process and take other steps to "prevent this type of issue from happening again."

On Saturday, Xinhua News Agency Los Angeles Bureau received an apology statement under the name of Hope Hartman, who is ABC's communications vice president. Xinhua correspondents tried to telephone and email Hartman right after receiving the letter but got no replies.

On Sunday morning, Hartman, using her title of ABC spokesperson, wrote back to Xinhua to confirm Saturday's statement, saying that ABC has "issued this apology several times already."

The statement admitted that "The simple fact is, the segment should never have been broadcast. Systems we have in place for these types of things did not function properly, and steps have been made to try and prevent this kind of egregious mistake from occurring in the future."

ABC said in the statement that the company has done everything in its power "to ensure that the segment receives no further exposure", and the offending skit has been edited out of any future broadcast of that episode.

"We have taken down the clip from all of our online platforms and the show has decided to forego any future segments of 'Kids Table'," said the statement.

ABC also said that the company has strengthened its review process and several new safeguards have been put in place to both their Broadcast Standards & Practices and Entertainment Programming areas "to ensure that segments like this are immediately brought to the attention of appropriate senior executives who can address them appropriately."

On Saturday, more than 10,000 Chinese Americans altogether in 27 cities across the United States protested against Kimmel and the ABC over a "kill everyone in China" skit.

In the "Jimmy Kimmel Live" show on October 16, Kimmel asked children on how the United States should deal with the government shutdown and the national debt owed to China. One of the children commented that the United States should "kill everyone in China," creating an uproar in the Chinese community.

Critics said that Kimmel was wrong for not stopping the comment and failing to explain to the children that it was not the right idea, and even worse the ABC failed to remove the comment from the show, which had been taped before it went on air.

The offensive comment has sparked indignation and protests from the Chinese community. ABC has previously sent a letter to a Chinese American organization to apologize and Kimmel himself has made apologies in his show on October 28 and to Chinese Americans in front of his studio at Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles on October 30.