Comedian Ari Shaffir has stoked controversy after he reacted to the death of Kobe Bryant by tweeting, “Hollywood liberals who attack comedy enjoy rooting for the Lakers more than they dislike rape.”
Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter were among nine people tragically killed when a helicopter crashed in California in foggy weather yesterday.
While most people responded by celebrating Bryant’s basketball career, Shaffir took to Twitter to call out “Hollywood liberals” for glamorizing Bryant despite allegations that he raped a 19-year-old girl.
The 19-year-old hotel employee claimed Bryant raped her in the summer of 2003 but the case was later dropped after the accuser refused to testify at the trial.
Bryant apologized to the girl but said he believed the encounter to be consensual and later settled with her in a separate civil lawsuit.
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
— Ari Shaffir (@AriShaffir) January 26, 2020
“Kobe Bryant died 23 years too late today,” tweeted Shaffir. “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.”
In a separate video, Shaffir stated, “A guy who got away with rape got his today, Kobe Bryant is gone!”
“I was hacked” is obviously sarcasm. pic.twitter.com/Kc80pxyeyU
— John Linge (@JTLRUSH) January 26, 2020
The comedian’s comments provoked the fury of others on Twitter.
“He’s got 4 kids man. It’s one thing to go dark if it’s genuinely funny, but this is just horrible. Like honestly how little empathy do you have?” asked one.
“That rape allegation never added up to anything, kinda like your shit comedy career,” added another.
“I’m a conservative, and this is too far, even for you. I hope you never get another gig. You’re a terrible person,” tweeted another.
However, Shaffir was by no means alone in the manner of his response. Numerous other prominent Twitter personalities and commentators reacted to Bryant’s death by bringing up the rape allegations against him.
Shaffir later claimed “I was hacked,” in what was obviously a sarcastic tweet.
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