10/29/2013 at 09:00 AM EDT
ABC is apologizing for a segment of Jimmy Kimmel Live
in which a child joked about killing Chinese people to help erase the U.S. debt.
The boy's unscripted comment came during a comedy bit in which youngsters commented on news events. The skit, aimed at poking fun at childish politicians, aired last week on Kimmel's late-night talk show.
ABC's apology came in response to a complaint from a group called 80-20 that identifies itself as a pan-Asian-American political organization.
In an Oct. 25 letter to the group, ABC said it would never purposefully do anything to upset the Chinese, Asian or other communities. The network says the skit will be edited out of the Jimmy Kimmel Live
episode for future airings or any other distribution, including online.
"We offer our sincere apology," said the network statement. "We would never purposefully broadcast anything to upset the Chinese community, Asian community, anyone of Chinese descent or any community at large. Our objective is to entertain. We took swift action to minimize the distribution of the skit by removing it from all public platforms available to us and editing it out of any future airings of the show. We hope our actions and our apology effectively address your concerns. Thank you for bringing this to our attention."
As reported by Time.com
, protestors in San Francisco marched on ABC headquarters there. "We have a sense of humor," the march’s leader, Carl Chan, an Oakland, Calif., resident who works in real estate, said in a speech, "but not at the expense of killing all Chinese."
He added, "Today’s hate speech becomes tomorrow’s hate crime."