US comedian sacked for tweeting Japan jokes

Insurance company Aflac axed Gilbert Gottfried after noticing the tweets, CNN said Tuesday quoting a news release from the company.

"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," said Michael Zunda, the company's senior vice president and chief marketing officer.

Gottfried was a character actor in Hollywood movies like "The Adventures of Ford Fairlane", "Problem Child 1 and 2" and "House Party 3". He lent his voice to the parrot sidekick of a sultan's advisor in the Disney cartoon movie, "Aladdin", CNN said.

Over 2,400 people have died in Friday's earthquake and tsunami and officials fear that the toll could exceed 10,000. There have also been blasts in three nuclear reactors at a Japanese n-plant in Fukushima.

Gottfried's tweets made light of the disaster in either a flippant or sexual manner, the media report said.

One of his tweets said: "Japan called me. They said 'Maybe those jokes are a hit in the US, but over here, they're all sinking'."

Another tweet said: "I was talking to my Japanese real estate agent. I said 'Is there a school in this area'. She said 'Not now, but just wait'."

"There is no place for anything but compassion and concern during these difficult times", said Zunda, who added the company was giving the Red Cross 100 million yen ($1.2 million) for disaster relief.

Zunda said Gottfried had not provided the quack for the Japanese version of the Aflac duck.

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