Aflac fires duck-voice actor over crude tweets


Associated Press

COLUMBUS, Ga.

Aflac Inc. said Monday it has fired Gilbert Gottfried, the abrasive voice of the insurer’s quacking duck in the U.S., after the comedian posted a string of mocking jokes about the earthquake and tsunami in Japan on Twitter over the weekend.

The tasteless tweets are particularly problematic for Aflac because it does 75 percent of its business in Japan. One in four homes in Japan buys health insurance from Aflac. The insurer’s CEO, Daniel Amos, flew to Japan on Sunday to show support for the company’s employees and agents.

Aflac said in a statement Monday that Gottfried’s jokes do not represent the feelings of the company, which previously announced it would donate $1.2 million to the International Red Cross to help with disaster assistance.

“There is no place for anything but compassion and concern during these difficult times,” Chief Marketing Officer Michael Zuna said.

The tweets in question were removed from Gott-fried’s Twitter feed Monday after Aflac announced it would stop working with the comedian.

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