By James Hibberd
Updated March 15, 2011 at 08:31 PM EDT
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After being fired as the quacking spokesperson for Aflec (and doubtless receiving a ton of outraged messages), comedian Gilbert Gottfried apologized Tuesday for his offensive tweets mocking victims of the catastrophic earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

Returning to Twitter, Gottfried wrote two hours ago: “I sincerely apologize to anyone who was offended by my attempt at humor regarding the tragedy in Japan. I meant no disrespect, and my thoughts are with the victims and their families.”

Joan Rivers, meanwhile, offered her support for the jokes via Twitter: “Oh come on people—this is just outrageous! Gilbert Gottfried was FIRED from Aflac for making jokes about the tsunami in Japan.” And then added: :That’s what comedians do!!! We react to tragedy by making jokes to help people in tough times feel better through laughter.”

Gottfried had penned jokes such as “Japan is real advanced. They don’t go to the beach. The beach comes to them.”

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