Gilbert Gottfried Fired as Voice of Aflac Duck. Reason Tied to Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami

Mar 14, 2011  •  Post A Comment

Comic Gilbert Gottfried, who has often pushed the envelope with his humor, pushed too hard in recent days and has lost his job as the voice of the Aflac duck, according to a number of media reports.

Wrote EW.com’s Inside TV blog, " 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 Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Michael Zuna said in a press release. ‘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.’ One joke that Gottfried tweeted: ‘I just split up with my girlfriend, but like the Japanese say, ‘They’ll be another one floating by any minute now.’ "

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, two more of Gottfried’s tweets were: “ ‘I was talking to my Japanese real estate agent. I said, ‘Is there a school is this area?’ She said, ‘Not now, but just wait.’ And this: ‘Japan is really advanced. They don’t go to the beach. The beach comes to them.’ "

The Chicago Sun Times article said insurance company Aflac does 75% of its business in Japan.


  1. The duck is just one of his characters.
    How can he be censored for his material when not officially working for that company?
    He also has a life as a comic.
    Give him a break.
    This is a very unfourtunate situation for Gilbert.

  2. Gottfried isn’t being censored, he is still free to tweet or say whatever he wants no matter how stupid it is. Aflac simply fired him to distance themselves from those comments because of their business relationship with Japan. Is there anything funny about what’s happening in Japan right now? Really?? I get that he’s a comic, but if he can sit and watch what’s going on over there and find humor in it, then something is seriously wrong with him.

  3. The issue is not about the jokes being funny; the issue is that he is making jokes about an event that gruesomely killed thousands of people before the bodies are even out of the water. Think about it: people’s babies were drowned and he’s making jokes. I admit that his jokes are clever, but they are beyond inappropri­ate. Parents are still looking for their lost children and he’s making jokes. His job is not to belittle tragedies.

  4. What an idiot

  5. If you hire a known sacrilegious comedian to be your spokesperson then you should expect this kind of thing. Lighten up, it’s just comedy.

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