Comedian Gilbert Gottfried has been dropped as the Aflac spokesperson after he posted several jokes about the Japan earthquake and tsunami on his Twitter page.
"Japan is really advanced. They don't go to the beach. The beach comes to them," Gottfried wrote in one Tweet. "What do the Japanese have in common with @howardstern? They're both radio active," he said in another Tweet.
"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 Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Michael Zuna said in a statement released on Monday. "Aflac Japan - and, by extension, Japan itself - is part of the Aflac family, and there is no place for anything but compassion and concern during these difficult times."
Gottfried had been the voice of Aflac's mascot, a duck, in commercials since 2000. The comedian is known from his appearances on Howard Stern and several Comedy Central roasts as well as his roles in "Problem Child" and "Aladdin."
According to the Aflac statement, the company will conduct a nationwide casting call to find a new voice for their mascot.