Don't joke about massive natural disasters while people are still dying in them, appears to be the lesson of the week. Three people in the public eye have lost their jobs over insensitive comments, with a rap star enraging much of Twitter on the side.
Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour fired his spokesman Dan Turner for an insensitive joke in an email to supporters. Turner regularly sends out missives with "This Day in History"-style blurbs, followed by jokes in parentheses. As Politico's Ben Smith reports, the one that cost him his job said, "Otis Redding posthumously received a gold record for his single, '(Sittin' on) The Dock of the Bay'. (Not a big hit in Japan right now.)"
Annoyingly-voiced actor Gilbert Gottfried was fired as the voice of the Aflac duck for tweeting, “I just split up with my girlfriend, but like the Japanese say, ‘There’ll be another one floating by any minute now.’”
And State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley was forced to resign for criticizing the Pentagon's handling of Bradley Manning. But we're betting this unfortunate analogy in a tweet didn't help: “We’ve been watching hopeful #tsunami sweep across #MiddleEast. Now seeing a tsunami of a different kind sweep across Japan.”
Meanwhile, Rapper 50 Cent made everyone mad on Twitter, too, when he said, "US west coast TUSNAMI watch f*ck this I'm going back to new york." And: "Wave will hit 8am them crazy white boys gonna try to go surfing." And: "Look this is very serious people I had to evacuate all my hoe's from LA,Hawaii and Japan. I had to do it. Lol." And: “Its all good Till b*tches see there christian louboutins floating down da street s**t gone get crazy.”
He eventually walked back the tweets a bit, writing, "Some of my tweets are ignorant I do it for shock value. Hate it or love it. I'm cool either way 50cent"
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.