30 most shocking late night scandals

Credit: CBS
Credit: CBS /
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28. Jimmy Kimmel’s dark joke about China gets him into trouble

There’s a lot comedians can get away with saying on television these days. If those offended by hearing the word “ass” on TV in the 70s could watch one of today’s late night shows, they’d probably have heart attacks. Even still, there are certain things which the general public don’t believe it’s okay to joke about.

Jimmy Kimmel would learn this after a controversial joke on Jimmy Kimmel Live. Before telling you what it is, I’ll describe the context. On an episode of the show in the fall of 2013, Kimmel presented a “Kids Table” segment, featuring children discussing political matters. Kimmel asked the children to discuss what we should do about America’s debt to China, which is around 1.3 trillion dollars.

A little boy jokingly responds to “kill everyone in China”. Kimmel sarcastically suggests that it’s an “interesting idea”, asking the boy if we should “allow the Chinese to live”. In response, the kid sticks to his answer. This is all in jest and neither Kimmel nor the kid are serious about this— but the joke still didn’t fly too well with those watching.

Asian Americans and Chinese citizens started to boycott the show. It got so bad that NBC issued an apology, while Kimmel gave one himself on the program.