Aflac drops Gilbert Gottfried after he tweets jokes about Japan crisis
by mike thomas email@example.com March 14, 2011 6:28PM
Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM
Comic Gilbert Gottfried has long made a great living from his often tasteless humor. On Monday, however, it cost him dearly.
After delivering a stream of jokes on Twitter mocking Japan’s devastating earthquake and tsunami, Gottfried was dropped by the insurer Aflac, whose duck mascot he voiced in 50 commercials. The Georgia-based company does 75 percent of its business in Japan.
“I was talking to my Japanese real estate agent,” went one of Gottfried’s dozen cyber cracks that began Saturday. “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.”
An Aflac spokesman said the remarks were “lacking in humor and certainly do not represent the thoughts and feelings of anyone at Aflac.”
Gottfried, though, isn’t the only showbiz type making light of an increasingly dire situation that has most offering prayers and drumming up financial support.
Here’s “Family Guy” writer Alec Sulkin, also on Twitter, when the number of reported casualties still hovered in the hundreds: “If you wanna feel better about this earthquake in Japan, google ‘Pearl Harbor death toll.’ ”
Sulkin apologized soon after and deleted his comment.
Before imploring followers to “pray for anyone who has lost someone,” Rapper 50 Cent got quippy with it, too, tweeting. “This is very serious, people. I had to evacuate all my hoe’s from LA, Hawaii and Japan. I had to do it. Lol.”