Hope Aflac is insured against insensitive remarks. The insurance company on Monday fired comedian Gilbert Gottfried, the voice of its commercials’ beloved duck, for joking about the Japanese earthquake and tsunami on Twitter. "Japan is really advanced. They don't go to the beach. The beach comes to them," Gottfried wrote in one tweet, which has since been removed. The company’s chief marketing officer, Michael Zuna, said in a statement that Gottfried’s comments were “lacking in humor” and “certainly do not represent the thoughts and feelings of anyone at Aflac.” Aflac has donated 100 million yen ($1.2 million) to the International Red Cross for disaster assistance.
On Tuesday, Gottfried issued an public statement. “I sincerely apologize to anyone who was offended by my attempt at humor regarding the tragedy in Japan,” he said. “I meant no disrespect, and my thoughts are with the victims and their families.”