‘Aflac Duck’ Gilbert Gottfried Fired For Tasteless Tweets on Japan Catastrophe

by | March 15, 2011 at 9:56 AM | Family Guy, TV News

Comedian Gilbert Gottfried (Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Comedian Gilbert Gottfried (Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images)


It appears some celebrities are unclear that when they write something on Twittter, people can, uh, actually read it.

Gilbert Gottfried has just learned this the hard way: He’s been fired as the squawking voice of the Aflac duck following a series of tweets about the disaster in Japan that the company found “lacking in humor.”

A sample clunker: “I just split up with my girlfriend, but like the Japanese say, ‘They’ll be another one floating by any minute now’.”

As of Monday at 10 p.m. the tweets were no longer available in Gottfried’s feed @RealGilbert.

In cutting ties, Aflac Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Michael Zuna said in a press release that the humor-deficient comments did not represent the company: “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.”

Gottfried, 56, has since apologized for the remarks, saying in a statement: “I sincerely apologize to anyone who was offended by my attempt at humor regarding the tragedy in Japan. I meant no disrespect, and my thoughts are with the victims and their families.”

Family Guy” writer and producer Alec Sulkin also stepped in it via Twitter. He, too, deleted a staggeringly insensitive tweet about the disaster in Japan.

“If you wanna feel better about this earthquake in Japan, google ‘Pearl Harbor death toll’,” he tweeted over the weekend.

Sulkin later deleted the posting, tweeting: “I am sorry for my insensitive tweet. It’s gone.”

Time will tell if it’s also forgotten.

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Meanwhile, Twitter has been a forum for celebrities to share their feelings about the quake.

Jared Leto (jaredleto) directed followers to charity: “RT @30secondstomars: Find out how you can aid and donate to #HelpJapan

As did Paula Abdul: “check THIS out. another great charity! thanks for this! RT @frontrownews 100% Donations to www.SamaritansPurse.org goes to Japan.”

Jimmy Kimmel referred his followers to a story he wrote for the Huffington Post “for those interested in my tsunami story, the whole thing, in detail.”

Edward Norton shared his connection: “I lived in Osaka, Japan in 1990 and have many friends there. Sending love and support to all Nihonzin brothers and sisters. Ganbatte!”

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