French television host and satirical comedian Laurent Ruquier has single-handedly offended the entire Japanese populace by making an off-hand joke about the meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant that was brought on by the 9.0 magnitude earthquake and tsunami which hit Japan back in March of last year - y'know, the worst, most devastating nuclear disaster to have happened on Planet Earth since Chernobyl went belly up in 1986?
Ripe for comedy, no?
Summing up France's dreary performance in their 1-0 home defeat to Japan on Friday night, the television channel in question, France 2, grafted a couple of extra limbs onto Japanese goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima to emphasise his spider-like performance in keeping France at bay - an image host Ruquier jokingly referred to as 'The Fukushima Effect'.
Unsurprisingly, the Japanese Embassy were straight on the phone, calling the remark 'inappropriate' and 'completely uncalled for', while confirming that they had sent a letter of protest to France 2 demanding an apology for a quip that had 'hurt the feelings of people affected by the disaster' and would doubtless 'hinder efforts toward reconstruction.'
Sorry Monsieur Ruquier, but we think that's what they call a 'too soon' in the comedy trade.