Comedian Ari Shaffir has issued a statement apologizing after he posted a career-ending video mocking Kobe Bryant's death just moments after word spread of his death.
On the day of Bryant's death, Shaffir posted a video of himself speaking: "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!" he said.
But the post received a tsunami of backlash, leading the comedian to reportedly lose some of his reps and not perform at a New York City comedy club that was previously scheduled - and now he's attempting to clarify his disrespectful post.
"Every time a beloved celebrity dies I post some horrible sh*t about them. I've been doing it for years now," he began in his lengthy Instagram post. "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."
He continued, "Some of them I've never even heard of and I have to look them up after I see all the RIP posts. Some of them I actually really admire and I'm bummed they've passed. It doesn't stop me from trying as quickly as I can to write some terrible sh*t about them. They're all just jokes, though. And I would never tag anyone in them that's at all associated with the person. I'm not looking to hurt anybody mourning a loved one. Just looking to post some inappropriate jokes for my fans. They've come to expect it from me."
Shaffir said that had he known children were on board, he would not have posted the video.
"I never made fun of any of the kids on the helicopter. They're not celebrities. Kids dying like that, it's horrible. Obviously. All the other people dying, that horrible too. It's horrible he died. Really really sad. What a terrible thing that was that happened. But that has nothing to do with why I make these posts. They're just moronic inappropriate posts I make for the fans who signed up to see them."
Read his statement below.
Is all forgiven?