Aflac dumps duck voice actor for tasteless tweets

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COLUMBUS, Ga. (AP) — Aflac has fired Gilbert Gottfried, the comedian who is the voice of the insurer’s quacking duck in the U.S. Gottfried, who has voiced the duck in numerous commercials since 2000, posted a string of mocking jokes about the earthquake and tsunami in Japan on Twitter over the weekend.

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

Aflac Inc., which does 75 percent of its business in Japan, says the jokes do not represent the feelings of the company. Chief Marketing Officer Michael Zuna said “there is no place for anything but compassion and concern during these difficult times.”

The insurer says it will start a casting search for a replacement.

Gottfried is not the voice of the duck in Japan.