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Tuesday
Mar152011

Gilbert Gottfried Fired by Aflac over Japan Earthquake Jokes

Shawn Ehlers/WireImage(NEW YORK) -- The Aflac duck has lost its voice.

Comedian Gilbert Gottfried, who's provided the voice of Aflac's signature duck in its commercials for over a decade, has been fired by the insurance company after he tweeted 12 jokes over the weekend that made light of the devastating earthquake in Japan.

In one tweet, he wrote, "I just split up with my girlfriend, but like the Japanese say, 'They'll be another one floating by any minute now.'"

In another joke, Gottfried said, "Japan is really advanced.  They don't go to the beach.  The beach comes to them."

In a statement, Aflac senior vice president Michael Zuna said, "Gilbert's recent comments about the crisis in Japan were lacking in humor and certainly do not represent the thoughts and feelings of anyone at Aflac."

Aflac noted that Gottfried did not voice the duck in its Japanese commercials.

Following the announcement, Gottfried removed the tweets in question from his Twitter page. He has a reputation for pushing the envelope of what exactly is "too soon" to joke about a tragedy: days after 9-11 he famously joked about it at a celebrity roast -- to the apparent horror of the assembled crowd. Last year, he tweeted a joke about the untimely death of friend and fellow comic Greg Giraldo shortly after he passed away.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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