Aflac Duck's New Voice Sought

Mar 23, 2011, 13:24 by Greg Stacy

The Aflac duck's new voice is being sought, after comedian Gilbert Gottfried was fired from the job for making controversial Twitter jokes about the disasters in Japan earlier this month, the New York Times reports.

Aflac will hold an open casting call for the job of voicing the insurance company's popular animal mascot. The campaign will begin Wednesday with a commercial airing in prime-time, the new website, and an employment ad on the job listing website

Gottfried has voiced the duck since the character first appeared in Aflac's advertising in 2000. Since then the character has become very popular nationally, with many parodies in pop culture and a talking stuffed toy for sale. Back in early 2010 a live Aflac duck was brought in to help ring the bell at the New York Stock Exchange.

Gottfried has been a popular comedian for decades and has done a lot of voice work in family entertainment, perhaps most famously as Iago the parrot in Disney's "Aladdin." But the comedian also has a very dark sense of humor that has sometimes gotten him in trouble. He abruptly lost the Aflac job following his tweets making light of the earthquakes and tsunamis in Japan, a country where Aflac does approximately 70 percent of its business.

"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," Michael Zuna, the company�s chief marketing officer, said in a statement. "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."

Aflac says that while they are "committed to the duck," they're open to new interpretations of the character's famous "Aflac!" quack and they're not looking for a Gottfried imitator.

Source: New York Times