After a series of jokes about the disaster in Japan sent out through his Twitter account, Gilbert Gottfried has been fired as the voice of the Aflac duck. He has issued this apology: “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.”
I would not defend Mr. Gottfried, but I will point out that he is a comedian whose work relies on “bad taste” and “going to far”. It seems somewhat odd to me that most people don’t seem to be aware that he has voiced the Aflac duck for years now (and I’m sure that a majority of people familiar with the ad campaign have no idea who Gilbert Gottfried is in the first place).
Will Aflac simply hire a new duck who sounds exactly the same (shouldn’t be too hard), and if they do, have they accomplished anything? They were no doubt left with no choice, but it seems to me their agency has an interesting dilemma facing them. If the unknown actor who portrays the Snuggle Fabric Softener Bear turned out to be a serial killer, wouldn’t you just want to change that voice completely?(Image.)