Aflac Axes Its Distasteful Duck Dude

Julie Ryan Evans

Gilbert GottfriedFor more than a decade, Gilbert Gottfried has quacked that annoying Aflac quack as the voice of the duck. You know the one: Aflac! Today, however, the insurance company put the kibosh on his quacks and fired Gottfried after the comedian made some distasteful jokes about Japan and the recent devastation it has seen in the wake of the earthquake and tsunami.

The jokes came through a series of tweets Gottfried made. They've since been removed, but some of the shockers included things like:

I just split up with my girlfriend, but like the Japanese say, "They'll be another one floating by any minute now."


Japan is really advanced. They don't go to the beach. The beach comes to them.

Totally out of line, and there were 10 more where those came from. Comedy can cross all sorts of lines, and boundaries certainly get pushed and blurred all the time. But how anyone could think about making jokes when the death toll is expected to reach 10,000 and the health of the nation is threatened is anything but funny. Even worse, Aflac reportedly does 75 percent of its business in Japan.

Shame on Gottfried, and kudos to Aflac for letting him go -- there's no need for such foul fowl. A nationwide hunt search is underway for a new, more discerning duck.

A representative from Aflac said in a statement:

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.

Too often companies, record labels, and movie studios look the other way at celebrities' bad behavior or offer meaningless slaps on the wrist, but firing Gottfried swiftly like this shows the kind of integrity that's needed to thwart such offensive acts. Good for Aflac. While the duck is annoying, at least we know when he quacks again, it will be done with more taste.

Do you think Aflac was right for firing Gilbert Gottfried over his tweets?

Image via Splash News

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