AFLAC fires Gilbert Gottfried over controversial Japan jokes

Over the weekend, Gilbert Gottfried tweeted several jokes centered around the devastation in Japan. This morning, the comedian found himself not only under fire for his seemingly insensitive tweets, but literally fired from his long-time gig as the voice of the AFLAC duck mascot, says the Hollywood Reporter.

AFLAC reps released this 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 will immediately set plans in motion to conduct a nationwide casting call to find a new voice of the iconic Aflac Duck.”

The tweets in question have since been deleted from Gottfried’s account but here are some I was able to drudge up.

  • I just split up with my girlfriend, but like the Japanese say, “they’ll be another one floating by any minute now.”
  • I was talking to my Japanese real estate agent. I said “Is there a school in this area?” She said “Not now but just wait.”
  • Japan called me. They said “those jokes may be a hit in the US, but over here, they’re all sinking.”

When I first started following Gilbert Gottfried on Twitter, I was certain that it wouldn’t be for long. Tweets were few and far between and mostly jibberish. One that I remember, looked as though the comedian had mashed his fingers across the keypad and hit “enter.” After a while, I rarely stopped to read updates from the man at all but slowly, he began to find his groove (or just figured out how twitter worked) and began interacting with fans and tweeting jokes.

This isn’t the first time Gottfried has upset others with poorly timed Twitter jokes.  Just hours after the passing of comedian Greg Giraldo, Gottfried landed himself on for tweeting, “If Greg Giraldo is cremated. . . will that be The Greg Giraldo Roast?” He later told TMZ that he wasn’t concerned about Giraldo calling and complaining.

Gottfried has yet to comment on any of the current developments, but should he? Isn’t he “just doing his job” or has Gottfried crossed the line? And, he made a special guest appearance at Comedy Central’s Roast of Donald Trump, which airs tomorrow. Will producers keep him in?

Chase Roper

Chase Roper is the Internet’s only comedy writing, podcasting, stay at home dad (maybe). His comedic sensibility has been described as bitingly sarcastic. He’s not sure if he agrees with that but is pretty sure that “bitingly” isn’t a real word. You can check out his show, The Stay at Home Dadcast on iTunes and Stitcher Radio.

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