Right after the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, comic Gilbert Gottfried put out a series of incredibly insensitive tweets, some graphic, that made light of the tragedy and mocked the victims. It was shocking really that anyone would think that was ok or somehow funny, and he was fired as the voice of the Aflac duck on those annoying commercials as a result. (You can read the tweets on this link, they’re so bad I don’t want to reprint them.)
After that, Gottfried got canned by Aflac, who issued a statement that this was not ok and did not reflect what they represent:
“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,” the company, which does 75% of its business in Japan, said in a statement. “There is no place for anything but compassion and concern during these difficult times.”
[via Huffington Post]
Gottfried eventually apologized, but it was one of those apologies that sounds like it blames people for misinterpreting his “humor.” He didn’t say he was way out of line or anything or that he should check himself.
“I sincerely apologize to anyone who was offended by my attempt at humor regarding the tragedy in Japan,” Gottfried, 56, the voice of the duck since 2000, says in a statement. “I meant no disrespect, and my thoughts are with the victims and their families.”
There’s a time and place for humor, and it’s too soon to make jokes like this. It’s not funny and it’s not right. Maybe this ass will realize that now that it’s hitting him where it hurts. Nasal duck voices are a dime a dozen.
Japanese Aflac commercial: