Aflac fires the man behind the duck

Photo by Lynette VanBeber

Photo by Lynette VanBeber

Columbus-based insurer Aflac said Monday it has fired voice actor and comedian Gilbert Gottfried -- the voice of the company's famed duck -- because of insensitive remarks he made via Twitter following last Friday's catastrophic earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

Gottfried, 56, has been part of Aflac's duck advertising campaign since 2000, primarily spouting the supplemental life and health insurer's name in a high-pitched tone, ala "Aflaaaaac!", during television commercials.

Beginning Friday, Gottfried wrote a series of Twitter posts poking fun at the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Here are some of his tweets:

"What does every Japanese person have in their apartment? Flood lights."

"Japan is really advanced. They don't go to the beach. The beach comes to them."

"My Japanese doctor advised me to stay healthy I need 50 million gallons of water a day."