Aflac Fires Gilbert Gottfried Over Tweets

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job interview The Aflac duck's voice is about to change, since actor/comedian Gilbert Gottfried tweeted away one of the sweetest voice-over gigs on the planet. Aflac insurance opted to release Gottfried as the voice of their iconic duck after he sent out offensive tweets about Japan and the tsunami on Monday.

Gottfried risked his lucrative career on jokes that most people didn't find particularly fresh or funny. @RealGilbert tweeted:

  • "Japan is really advanced. They don't go to the beach. The beach comes to them."
  • "I just split up with my girlfriend, but like the Japanese say, They'll be another one floating by any minute now."
  • "Japan called me. They said 'maybe those jokes are a hit in the US, but over here, they're all sinking.' "
  • "What do the Japanese have in common with @howardstern? They're both radio active."

The tweets were removed from his feed after Aflac made the announcement that it would no longer be working with Gottfried.

Gottfried had been with the worldwide insurance company since 2000. In a statement released Monday, Aflac Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Michael Zuna said, "Gilbert's recent comments about the crisis in Japan were lacking in humor and certainly do not represent the thoughts and feelings of anyone at Aflac. Aflac Japan -- and, by extension, Japan itself -- is part of the Aflac family, and there is no place for anything but compassion and concern during these difficult times."

There has been no announcement made yet about whether Gottfried will be replaced, or if the advertising icon will be retired.

Aflac's decision to fire Gottfried was likely made easier by the fact that the company is one of Japan's biggest insurers. Aflac has already pledged 100 million yen to the International Red Cross to provide aid to the earthquake and tsunami victims.


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