Comedian Ari Shaffir was dropped by his talent agency and had a New York Comedy Club appearance canceled, after he posted a video celebrating the death of Kobe Bryant. The comic also took to Twitter and said Bryant had died “23 years too late.”
Only six hours after news broke that Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter, and seven other people lost their lives in a helicopter crash on January 26th, Shaffir jumped to his Twitter account with a full-frontal attack on Kobe and everyone who supported him, the Jewish Journal reported.
On Sunday, the “Skeptic Tank” podcaster tweeted, “Kobe Bryant died 23 years too late today. He got away with rape because all the Hollywood liberals who attack comedy enjoy rooting for the Lakers more than they dislike rape. Big ups to the hero who forgot to gas up his chopper. I hate the Lakers. What a great day! #Fuckthelakers.”
Shaffir also posted a video lauding the NBA player’s death.
The NBA superstar was accused of rape in 2003 by a 19-year-old hotel employee who said Bryant sexually assaulted her at The Lodge and Spa at Cordillera in Edwards, Colorado. In the end, Bryant faced no prosecution. Testimony and evidence regarding the accuser’s sexual past was allowed by the judge after she was found to have the semen of another man in her underwear. Bryant’s accuser had also had relationships with two of the male witnesses in the case. A civil lawsuit over the incident ended in 2005 when the player settled for an undisclosed amount.
Shaffir found quick retaliation for his comments. His talent agency, Aqua Talent Agency, dropped him as a client only days after the backlash began.
But Shaffir fought back against his critics by pointing out that he has posted similar dark jabs at other celebrities who died.
On a Wednesday Instagram post, Shaffir slammed his opponents, saying, “Every time a beloved celebrity dies, I post some horrible shit about them. I’ve been doing it for years now. I like destroying gods. And right when a famous person dies, they’re at their most worshipped. So as a response to all the outpouring of sympathy on social media, I post something vile. It’s just a joke. I don’t really hate any of the people.”
Shaffir also insisted that the crash was, in actuality, a horrible thing. “Kids dying like that, it’s horrible,” he wrote. “All the other people dying, that [sic] horrible too. It’s horrible he died. Really really sad. What a terrible thing that was that happened.”
The comedian faced other consequences for his comments about the beloved NBA player. On Tuesday, Shaffir lost a gig at the New York Comedy Club when the venue canceled his show after being beset with death threats for scheduling his show.
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