This past weekend saw the untimely passing of NBA legend Kobe Bryant in a helicopter accident that also claimed the lives of his daughter Gianna and seven other passengers. While the NBA and the rest of the sports world deals with Kobe’s passing, a scene from a 2016 episode of Comedy Central’s Legends of Chamberlain Heights has been revisited and seen as controversial by some as in the episode entitled “End of Days“, an animated take on Kobe also dies as a result of a helicopter crash. The episode has since been removed from the Comedy Central website, and the creators of the show asked people to refrain from sharing the clip on social media out of respect for Bryant. Legends of Chamberlain Heights was canceled after two seasons and was produced by Bento Box Entertainment for Comedy Central.
We reached out to Legends of Chamberlain Heights creator Josiah Johnson to which he released a statement to us exclusively regarding the scene in question:
In 2015 we wrote a scene that would later air on Legends of Chamberlain Heights, featuring Kobe in a helicopter crash. The joke was suppose to highlight Kobe’s reputation for not passing, and in our attempt to do this, we went too far. 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. For those unfamiliar with the show, we prided ourselves on giving no fucks and delivering comedy that was routinely out of pocket. 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. I accept full responsibility on behalf of the show for this poor judgment, and offer my deepest condolences to the families of those impacted by this tragedy.
As we have seen time and time again with The Simpsons, animation allows animators and producers to come up with the most wild of fantasies that very seldom come to fruition, and really this is no different. I happen to know Josiah, and I can speak from experience that he’s a loving husband and father with a big heart and he’s just as torn up about this situation as anybody. At the end of the day, Legends of Chamberlain Heights is a comedy series about the love of basketball and nobody loved basketball more than Kobe. RIP Kobe Bryant.