WASHINGTON, D.C. ¨C OCA ¨C Asian Pacific American Advocates, a national membership driven organization dedicated to advancing the political, social, and economic well-being of Asian Pacific Americans (APA), continues to pursue a facilitated coalition dialogue with representatives from the American Broadcasting Company (ABC) Television Network and Jimmy Kimmel Show, along with an investigation by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
On October 16, 2013, the Jimmy Kimmel Show aired a skit titled "Kids Table¡± where a child proposed "kill all the Chinese¡± as a political solution to the United States¡¯ debt. In response to the skit, OCA and other Asian Pacific American organizations, community groups, and individuals galvanized to decry the language used, statement made in the show, and the use of children used to express the statement.
"We are requesting accountability on the part of the Jimmy Kimmel Show as well as the ABC Network,¡± says Sharon M. Wong, OCA President, "Actions and solutions are necessary to address the offensive statements made on that show. Of particular concern to us is the usage of children in this skit, one of whom was an Asian Pacific American girl. The Jimmy Kimmel Show compromised their wellbeing and they have done nothing yet to address the highly offensive rhetoric. These words have real consequences to the children and to our community. ABC and the Kimmel Show must right this wrong.¡±
ABC has issued a formal apology to Chinese and other Asian Pacific Americans for the statement on the show. Jimmy Kimmel also apologized for any unintended offense that may have occurred. However, the apologies do not sufficiently address the outrage felt from the APA community.
"The Asian Pacific American community is insulted by the offer of an insincere apology. An appropriate apology would acknowledge the reasons why the incident was offensive and should not be framed around a joke,¡± says Tom Hayashi, OCA Executive Director, "More importantly, ABC must address the structural issues that make incidents, such as this one, acceptable to producers. There needs to be policies and trainings in place that prevent hate speech, especially those delivered by children, from airing. And when such an incident occurs, there should be a proper debrief with the children and their families. A facilitated dialogue between Jimmy Kimmel representatives and community stakeholders is a necessary first step to ensure lasting, impactful change. The Asian Pacific American community must be proactive in preempting hateful speech and disparaging and racist portrayals of APAs in the media. We have filed a complaint with the FCC, and we have received confirmation that an official investigation being initiated. It is important that we maintain pressure on this regulatory agency to ensure that they thoroughly review all the activities that preceded the broadcast of this segment. I encourage all chapters, members, and advocates to file a form 2000E complaint with the FCC.¡±
FCC complaints can be filed at https://esupport.fcc.gov/ccmsforms/form2000!formSelection.action.
With the assistance of internal and external champions, OCA submitted a letter to the to ABC Executives, which have opened a line of communication between the network, OCA, Media Coalition partners, community members, and representatives from the Jimmy Kimmel show.
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