AFLAC CEO explains Gilbert Gottfried firing

Jeff Poor Media Reporter
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The so-called AFLAC Insurance duck commercials have been a staple on American television for over 10 years, but it appears that may be coming to a close, at least in its current incarnation.

Last week, AFLAC fired comedian Gilbert Gottfried after he made some ill-advised jokes about Japan in the wake of an earthquake and tsunami. Gottfried later apologized, but AFLAC CEO Daniel Amos told Fox News host Neil Cavuto Saturday morning those jokes made on the social networking site Twitter sent the wrong message about his company, especially as the company is a promoting a wristband disaster relief campaign.

“Well our staff and everyone else brought it to me,” Amos said. “And you know here’s a time when we have just made a donation of ¥100 million, or $1.2 million. We have a campaign going on right now in Japan where we have these wrist bands that say ‘together,’ meaning the U.S. and Japan – that we’re raising money by selling these that we started. And to have a spokesperson all of a sudden tell un-appropriate jokes I do not think is in the best interest nor sends the message that we want as a company.”

Amos also ruled out the possibility of Gottfried ever returning as a “spokesperson” for the company.

“And no chance of hiring him back?” Cavuto asked.

“No,” Amos said.