Comedian Ari Shaffir is known by many as "the guy with that Netflix special" but, to his core fanbase, he's the prankster who makes light of celebrity deaths. It's sort of become his thing. Describing his brand as "niche comedy," Shaffir has been intensely criticized for his comments regarding the passing of Kobe Bryant. This weekend, the Los Angeles Lakers legend passed away as part of a tragic helicopter crash, killing nine people including Bryant's 13-year-old daughter. Following the wildly unfortunate event, Shaffir took to social media to tell his fans that he believed the crash should have happened 23 years earlier, referring to the year Bryant was accused of rape in Denver, Colorado. After a ton of online backlash was spewed his way forcing him to turn his account private, Shaffir is apologizing for his disgusting and insensitive remarks, explaining why he wrote them in the first place.

"Every time a beloved celebrity dies I post some horrible shit about them," says the comedian. "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."


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The lengthy post goes on to explain the context behind his original upload, noting that, at the time, details were not clear regarding the circumstances of Kobe's death. He had not known that children were on board the helicopter and, in his words, he was just "looking to post some inappropriate jokes" for his fans. 

Shaffir says that he famously hated the Los Angeles Lakers, but it's only because Kobe Bryant and his teammates would always "torch" his Charlotte Hornets. He realizes that his post was wildly incorrect though, apologizing later on.

"I'm not actually celebrating his death. I'm not actually celebrating any of their deaths. That's just an act."

Do you accept his apology or is he officially cancelled?