A US comedian has sparked outrage by poking fun at a man who was killed in a horrific shark attack at a New Zealand beach two weeks ago.
Father-of-one Adam Strange, 46, died after a shark dragged him underwater while he was swimming at Muriwai Beach on Auckland's west coast on Wednesday, February 27.
But host Anthony Jeselnik says the tragedy is cause for celebration and has staged a "Shark Party" on his show The Jeselnik Offensive.
"Was he killed? You bet your sweet arse he was killed, and he had a family and everything," Jeselnik told a laughing audience on the show.
He then broke into a dance surrounded by women in shark suits and a bleeding surfer representing Mr Strange.
"Let's not forget the man who made this all possible," Jeselnik says as a photo of Mr Strange appears on the screen.
"Smile you son of a bitch."
He then says that this year sharks have killed one person, while people have killed 17 million sharks.
Muriwai Volunteer Lifeguard Service chairman Tim Jago said Muriwai residents were "disgusted" by the episode.
"I guess the thought that ran through my mind was if a New Zealand comedy act tried to make fun out of something like a high school shooting in America, they'd be on our backs and condemning us straight away," Mr Jago told The New Zealand Herald.
He said it was also wrong to connect Mr Strange with the exploitation of sharks.
"I guess what's also disappointing and what shows how far off the mark these people are is the comments around shark finning and killing sharks, which is an issue that is really distressing to Adam's family because he was a conservationist and totally respectful of sharks," Mr Jago said.
Jeselnik encouraged his fans to watch the controversial episode on his Twitter page today.
"I get a lap dance from a shark as love conquers all," he tweeted.
Author: Alexandra Pleffer, Approving editor: Matthew Henry