White House responds to 'Jimmy Kimmel Live's' 'kill everyone in China' sketch

Nearly three months after it aired, the White House finally has something to say about a sketch on "Jimmy Kimmel Live" that featured a child saying "kill everyone in China." ABC and Jimmy Kimmel both apologized for the remark, but a petition on WhiteHouse.gov asked that the government cancel the show somehow. It garnered more than 100,000 signatures, necessitating a response from President Obama's administration.

The official statement says what everyone already knew: The government can't make ABC cancel "Jimmy Kimmel Live." It also points out that everyone involved has previously apologized and that the comments "do not reflect mainstream views of China in the United States."

The full statement can be read below:

Thank you for your petition. Your petition requested an apology from those involved, and to "cut the show."

The parties involved have already apologized independently. Jimmy Kimmel has apologized on-air, and issued a written apology. ABC has removed the skit from future broadcasts, taken the clip down from online platforms, and detailed several changes in its programming review process in response to this incident.

On a broader level, as the President has stated publicly, the United States welcomes the continuing peaceful rise of China. The comments you are writing about do not reflect mainstream views of China in the United States.

The Federal government cannot force ABC to remove this show. The First Amendment of the Constitution protects free speech, even if individuals might personally find it offensive or distasteful. It may be upsetting when people say things we might personally disagree with, but the principle of protected free speech is an important part of who we are as a nation.

If you think this issue merits additional scrutiny, you may file a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission by visiting FCC.gov/Complaints. The FCC is an independent agency that regulates the airwaves without input or consideration from the White House.

Photo/Video credit: Getty Images