Ari Shaffir’s NY Comedy Club show cancelled after his inflammatory Kobe Bryant comments
Comedian Ari Shaffir had his Tuesday night show at the New York Comedy Club cancelled after the venue received threats about hosting Shaffir. A representative for the the club confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter that Shaffir’s show had been cancelled, saying, “we’re not working with him anymore.” The NYPD confirmed with THR on Wednesday (1/29) that the club had also filed an aggravated harassment report regarding multiple threats made to them over the phone.
The cancellation and threats come after Shaffir made inflammatory remarks on Twitter about the late Kobe Bryant, who died in a helicopter crash on Sunday (1/26). He switched his Twitter to private to cut down on the backlash, but Ari’s original tweet read:
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
Heavy.com points out that in the ensuing backlash Shaffir claimed his account had been hacked (he was most likely kidding). Aqua Talent Agency dropped him from their roster shortly after on Monday (1/27), according to Jewish Journal.
On Tuesday, Shaffir posted a lengthy statement to Instagram about his original tweet. “Every time a beloved celebrity dies I post some horrible shit about them,” it reads. “It’s just a joke. I don’t really hate any of the people… I’m not looking to hurt anyone mourning a loved one. Just looking to post some inappropriate jokes for my fans…I never made fun of any of the kids on the helicopter. They’re not celebrities. Kids dying like that, it’s horrible.” Read the statement in full below.
Meanwhile, The Washington Post reinstated a reporter who they suspended for her tweets following Bryant’s death, CNN reports. Felicia Sonmez had tweeted a 2016 Daily Beast story about the rape allegation against Bryant in the hours after his death, and was placed on administrative leave while the Post “reviews whether tweets about the death of Kobe Bryant violated The Post newsroom’s social media policy,” according to managing editor Tracy Grant. “After conducting an internal review, we have determined that, while we consider Felicia’s tweets ill-timed, she was not in clear and direct violation of our social media policy,” Grant said in a new statement.