Comedy Central has pulled an old episode of cartoon series Legends of Chamberlain Heights because it depicted Kobe Bryant dying as the result of a helicopter crash.
The episode, titled ‘End of Days’, was first shown in 2016, but the channel tweeted to say that it would be taking the episode off air after the former NBA star tragically died in an accident on Sunday.
Out of respect for Kobe and his family we have removed the clip of him and ask that you please don’t share it.
RIP Kobe and Gigi Bryant and everyone else who died in the helicopter crash today
– Legends (@LegendsofCH) January 26, 2020
The show’s official account posted: “Out of respect for Kobe and his family we have removed the clip of him and ask that you please don’t share it.
“RIP Kobe and Gigi Bryant and everyone else who died in the helicopter crash today.”
Creator of the show, Josiah Johnson, posted a personal apology from his own Twitter account.
In the screenshotted explanation, he said the the joke was intended to ‘highlight Kobe’s reputation for not passing’ but added they went ‘too far’.
He continued: “This was a collaborative effort by our writers’ room, which included Kobe, LeBron and MJ fans and was in no way meant to be a prediction of the tragic event that transpired.
“Upon learning the news of Kobe’s passing, I immediately reached out to Comedy Central and asked that the episode be taken down, in addition to deleting the clip off the show’s social media accounts.”
Basketball star Kobe Bryant died in a helicopter crash in California on 26 January, at the age of 41. All nine people aboard the aircraft were killed, including Bryant’s 13-year-old daughter Gianna.
Vanessa Bryant, Kobe’s wife and Gianna’s mother, made her first statement about the accident on social media on Wednesday (29 January).
View this post on Instagram
My girls and I want to thank the millions of people who’ve shown support and love during this horrific time. Thank you for all the prayers. We definitely need them. We are completely devastated by the sudden loss of my adoring husband, Kobe – the amazing father of our children; and my beautiful, sweet Gianna – a loving, thoughtful, and wonderful daughter, and amazing sister to Natalia, Bianka, and Capri. We are also devastated for the families who lost their loved ones on Sunday, and we share in their grief intimately. There aren’t enough words to describe our pain right now. I take comfort in knowing that Kobe and Gigi both knew that they were so deeply loved. We were so incredibly blessed to have them in our lives. I wish they were here with us forever. They were our beautiful blessings taken from us too soon. I’m not sure what our lives hold beyond today, and it’s impossible to imagine life without them. But we wake up each day, trying to keep pushing because Kobe, and our baby girl, Gigi, are shining on us to light the way. Our love for them is endless – and that’s to say, immeasurable. I just wish I could hug them, kiss them and bless them. Have them here with us, forever. Thank you for sharing your joy, your grief and your support with us. We ask that you grant us the respect and privacy we will need to navigate this new reality. To honor our Team Mamba family, the Mamba Sports Foundation has set up the MambaOnThree Fund to help support the other families affected by this tragedy. To donate, please go to MambaOnThree.org. To further Kobe and Gianna’s legacy in youth sports, please visit MambaSportsFoundation.org. Thank you so much for lifting us up in your prayers, and for loving Kobe, Gigi, Natalia, Bianka, Capri and me. #Mamba #Mambacita #GirlsDad #DaddysGirls #Family :heart:
A post shared by Vanessa Bryant (@vanessabryant) on
Bryant and ‘Gigi’ were on their way to the Mamba Academy in Thousand Oaks, California, for basketball practice at the time of the incident.