March 14, 2011 -- One has to hope that Gilbert Gottfried has insurance that pays you cash if you miss work. Georgia-based insurance company Aflac announced Monday that it fired Gottfried after the actor/comedian made inappropriate jokes about Japanese earthquake and tsunami victims on Twitter.
Gottfried is—was—the voice of the Aflac Duck, which has long made appearances in Aflac’s television commercials.
Over the weekend, Gottfried tweeted upwards of a dozen jokes referencing the ongoing disaster in Japan. For example, yesterday morning he wrote: “Japan is very advanced. They don’t go to the beach. The beach comes to them.”
The company said it would start a nationwide casting call to find a new voice and noted that it was already using a different voice in Japan, where it is the number one foreign insurer.
Chief Marketing Officer, Michael Zuna, said that Gottfried’s tweets had been “lacking in humor and certainly do not represent the thoughts and feelings of anyone at Aflac.”
Last Friday, Aflac announced that the company was donating 100 million yen to the International Red Cross for disaster assistance. Seventy-five percent of the company’s business is derived from Japan.