Matthew Perry: US comedian under fire for joking about star's hot tub death

A former writer for the US comedy show Saturday Night Live is under fire for his comments about the death of Friends star Matthew Perry. 

Writer and podcaster Kevin Brennan posted the news of Perry's passing on his X (formerly known as Twitter) account with the caption: "Drowned in a hot tub. Hahaha." 

His remark was immediately seized on by Perry's fans, with many quick to castigate Brennan for his tasteless and unfunny comment. 

He then doubled-down on his initial post in a follow-up comment that said: "I just thought it was funny. But I do love it when junkies die." 

Brennan's comments have caused a furious backlash, with many accusing him of exploiting Perry's death in a bid to boost his "relevance" online. 

"Are you that desperate to try and stay relevant?" one user asked on his original post. 

"Millions knew & loved Matthew," another said.  

"His past didn't change that, and it made him stronger. He passed away with more class, & dignity than you could ever hope to have." 

"Trying to be relevant by making people hate you won't boost your DEAD career," another added. 

"Comedy is supposed to be funny. Who told you that you are a comedian? Self-appointed?" another said. 

"You are sick. What the hell is wrong with you? You're a pathetic little loser of a man," another wrote. 

Follow-up tweets from Brennan have shown the former writer and host of the Misery Loves Company podcast had no remorse for the anger he had caused. 

Meanwhile, the Friends cast has finally addressed the death of Perry on Tuesday. 

In a joint statement released to People magazine, stars Matt LeBlanc, Lisa Kudrow, Courteney Cox, Jennifer Aniston and David Schwimmer said they were "utterly devastated" by Matthew Perry's death. 

Perry was found unresponsive in his hot tub at home on Saturday (US time).