Aflac has fired actor Gilbert Gottfried, voice of the Aflac duck, for offensive remarks about the Japanese earthquake and tsunami on Twitter.
@RealGilbert tweeted, "Japan is really advanced. They don't go to the beach. The beach comes to them." Another tweet said, "I just split up with my girlfriend, but like the Japanese say, They'll be another one floating by any minute now."
The tweets in question were removed from Gottfried's Twitter feed Monday after Aflac announced it would stop working with the comedian.
Gottfried has voiced the duck in numerous Aflac commercials since 2000. His career includes a run as a cast member on "Saturday Night Live" and a role as the voice of the parrot in Disney's "Aladdin." He has also recorded a 50-minute show of dirty jokes.
“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 written 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.”
Aflac is one of the biggest insurers in Japan and has pledged 100 million yen to the International Red Cross to help earthquake and tsunami victims.
Information from the Associated Press contributed to this article