Dozens of protestors gathered in front of the Hollywood studio where Jimmy Kimmel Live is filmed on Wednesday, several days after the late night host joked with a child about killing Chinese people.
Kimmel stepped outside to apologize to them personally.
“If I upset you, I’m very, very sorry,” Kimmel said. “I did not mean to upset you.”
The protestors held signs along Hollywood Boulevard in front of El Capitan Theatre, where the show is recorded.
They were angry over an unscripted Oct. 16 segment in which Kimmel interviewed a group of young children about U.S. debt to China, asking them what the United States should do about its financial situation.
“Shoot cannons all the way over and kill everyone in China,” one boy said in response.
The skit, intended to make fun of politicians’ childish behavior, prompted an outcry, and both ABC and Kimmel issued apologies.
“I feel like we made a mistake putting it on the air,” Kimmel told a small group of protestors who were allowed inside the theater, along with news cameras.
After speaking to the small group, he went outside to address the larger crowd.
“I feel bad you did not take it as a joke,” Kimmel told the group, responding to shouted questions from protestors.
An online petition that called for an apology over the show’s use of “the same rhetoric used in Nazi Germany against Jewish people” had garnered more than 74,000 signatures as of Wednesday.
The network said the skit will not appear in future airings of that episode, a point that Kimmel emphasized to the Hollywood protestors, some of whom held signs that bore Kimmel’s likeness wearing an Adolf Hitler mustache.
Protestors had reportedly gathered Monday outside ABC’s San Francisco office.