Gilbert Gottfrield isn’t the only celebrity who has made ill-advised jokes or comments about the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, the Los Angeles Times ‘ Show Tracker blog reports. Glenn Beck, 50 Cent and TV writer Alec Sulkin have also made inappropriate remarks, the story says.
Beck called the disaster "a message from God" on his Monday show, while hip-hop artist 50 Cent made a surfing joke, the story notes. Sulkin, who writes for "Family Guy" and "The Cleveland Show," brought up Pearl Harbor, the story says.
Other media figures have simply struggled with their words and have wound up accidentally saying the wrong thing–a problem exacerbated by live TV and the 24-hour news cycle. One example was CNBC anchor Larry Kudlow, who said we should be “grateful” that the human toll of the disaster has been greater than the financial toll.
The piece cites Stuart Fischoff, senior editor of the Journal of Media Psychology, as noting that some of the comments may reveal a "reservoir of prejudice" against the Japanese people that has been revealed by the disaster. The article also reports that Joan Rivers stuck up for Gottfried on Twitter, noting that comedians "react to tragedy by making jokes to help people in tough times feel better through laughter."