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D.C. Douglas, former spokesman for Geico Insurance who was let go last year over a sarcastic voice mail, has come to the defense of Gilbert Gottfried, the comedian fired Monday as the voice of the Aflac duck.
Gottfried was terminated by the insurer after making a series of crude jokes about the Japan earthquake and tsunami via Twitter, including: “I just split up with my girlfriend, but like the Japanese say, ‘They’ll be another one floating by any minute now.’”
Douglas, who was fired last year for leaving a voice mail with a Tea Party organization “inquiring about their mental acuity and what their PR plan was if a member snapped,” weighed in Wednesday on Gottfied’s firing in an essay on Salon.com.
Of his own firing, Douglas wrote: “What I really found bizarre were the people rallying around the goal of getting someone fired — someone they didn’t even know — for voicing an opinion on personal time.”
The difference between his firing and Gottfried’s, Douglas wrote, is that Gottfried was fired before those offended had a chance to demand his termination.
“Dark, lovable Gilbert Gottfried gets canned from insurance company Aflac for tweeting morbid humor on his own time,” Douglas wrote. “Team Sensitivity is clashing with Team GetOverIt (I’m on Team CouldGiveAS—). The fascinating thing here is that Aflac silenced the duck before the angry calls could get rolling. That’s how hypersensitive corporate America has become to the ‘bent-out-of-shape’ population.”
He went on to blast those would-be naysayers and relate how absurd it would be for strangers to call for the termination of everyday people for simply expressing an opinion outside of work.
“Imagine a stranger coming up to you and saying, ‘Dude, I heard what you said about that thing and I disagree! I found it as offensive as Janet Jackson’s bare boob at a Super Bowl halftime show! I’m going to get all my friends to call up Applebee’s and get you fired!’
“Operating from a place of anger is a Charlie Sheen kind of ‘winning.’ Perhaps indignant people should focus on productive gestures, like helping up those in need, rather than tearing down others you disagree with.”
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