Howard Stern, Joan Rivers Defend Gilbert Gottfried

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"Oh come on people-this is just outrageous!" Rivers Tweets after he's fired as the Aflac duck; Stern says there was "no reason" for him to be fired."

Joan Rivers has rushed to Gilbert Gottfried's defense after he was fired as the Aflac duck for posting offense Tweets about the Japan earthquake and tsunami.

"Oh come on people-this is just outrageous! Gilbert Gottfried was FIRED from Aflac for making jokes about the tsunami in Japan," she Twittered Tuesday.

"That's what comedians do!!! We react to tragedy by making jokes to help people in tough times feel better through laughter," added Rivers, whose reality show with her daughter, Melissa, was renewed by WE tv Tuesday.

Howard Stern also defended Gottfried on his show Tuesday.

"Here is the guy that as long as I know has been making jokes... you couldn't ask for a more inappropriate human being," said Stern of Gottfried (via TMZ), who frequently appears on his Sirius XM show. "When the Aflac people hired him to be the duck, they knew...his humor is offensive... There's no reason for him to be fired. But to be fired for offensiveness... he should never have been hired then."

Gottfried tried to make amends Tuesday.

"I sincerely apologize to anyone who was offended by my attempt at humor regarding the tragedy in Japan,” he told The Hollywood Reporter in a statement Tuesday. “I meant no disrespect, and my thoughts are with the victims and their families." (He is among the stars who have sent out other low-blow messages via Twitter.)

The insurance company's CEO said Monday that the dozen jokes Gottfried Tweeted "were lacking in humor and certainly do not represent the thoughts and feelings of anyone at Aflac."