Jimmy Kimmel personally apologized to a group of Chinese demonstraters who held signs depicting Kimmel as Hitler when they staged a protest outside of his studio Wednesday in Hollywood.
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The protesters were demanding that ABC fire Kimmel for a comedy bit that aired on his show Oct. 16 in which a small boy suggested that the U.S. “kill” all the Chinese if China presses its claims for money the United States owes it.
Both Kimmel and ABC had already apologized for the sketch, which was styled as a panel discussion moderated by Kimmel who asked his child panelists to comment on various issues currently in the news.
The bit was meant to draw a parallel between the children and the “childish” behavior of legislators in Washington during the recent shutdown of the federal government.
Protests erupted soon after the bit was aired, and ABC has since made the clip of the sketch unavailable and ordered it excised from future airings of that evening’s episode of “Jimmy Kimmel Live.”
But the previous apologies were apparently insufficient for the protesters who gathered on Hollywood Boulevard on Wednesday to demand Kimmel’s dismissal.
At one point, Kimmel himself appeared in the doorway and issued yet another apology, according to this account of the incident.
“I feel like we made a mistake putting it on the air,” Kimmel said. “If I upset you, I’m very, very sorry. I did not mean to upset you. … “I feel bad you did not take it as a joke,” Kimmel told the group.
There was no word on what Kimmel thought of the signs on which his face appeared with an Adolf Hitler mustache. The Nazi analogy was reportedly drawn by the protesters because they believed Kimmel’s comedy bit was on par with “the same rhetoric used in Nazi Germany against Jewish people.”