Really, people? Do we still not know that tweeting horrendously insensitive things in the face of a tragedy is a really bad idea?
Perhaps comedian Gilbert Gottfried, the now-former voice for insurance company Aflac Inc.’s duck, didn’t quite grasp that Twitter, with its steady feed of sympathy for Japan, wasn’t exactly the best place to start cracking jokes about the tsunami. Especially if you’re a well-known comedian.
(More on NewsFeed: See 7 ways you can help victims in Japan)
After the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, Gottfried tweeted a string of Japan-related jokes, such as, “Japan is really advanced. They don’t go to the beach. The beach comes to them.” and, “I just split up with my girlfriend, but like the Japanese say, ‘They’ll be another one floating by any minute now.'”
(More on TIME.com: See images from the quake’s aftermath)
Unfortunately for Gottfried, the jokes were not only horribly insensitive, but also alienating to his employer, Aflac. Gottfried has been the instantly-recognizable voice of the Aflac duck in commercials since 2000, but the company didn’t appreciate their de facto spokesman’s Twitter humor–though it should be noted that Aflac’s most “important market” is reportedly in Japan, so they might not have had totally pure motives in severing their ties with Gottfried. Regardless of motive, they’ve fired him, noting that the tweets “were lacking in humor and certainly do not represent the thoughts and feelings of anyone at Aflac.”
NewsFeed is hoping that those tweets don’t actually reflect the thoughts of anyone. (via Reuters)