My superstar P.R. team Goldman/McCormick has been working overtime and as a result, last night at 11 P.M., I got a call from Mark Amazon on 700 WLW News Talk Radio, known as “The Big One”, out of Cincinatti, Ohio for my take on the Gilbert Gottfried/AFLAC scenario.
Having known Gilbert for more than 25 years, I told them that I felt it was a mistake in judgment that Gilbert regretted, not only because he lost his position as the voice of AFLAC, but because he never intended to hurt anyone’s feelings. He had already posted apologies on his own Twitter page.
With AFLAC having such a huge percentage of it’s business in Japan, I guess it couldn’t afford the potential losses from people who were insulted by Gilbert’s Tweets, and made the choice to let him go. The only other way would have been for them to stick up for him, against an entire ravaged country, and that would be a very unlikely scenario for anyone to expect.
Gilbert was just being Gilbert, as he’s always been. That’s what he does. He goes where no one else dares. Comedians often try to do that. I have several thoughts on that matter.
Comics spend every day looking for what’s funny about things that most people don’t see as funny. Not cause they want to, cause they HAVE to. They have no choice. It’s how comics think. It’s in their blood. It’s a drug, and they’re addicted.
Some comics work clean, some work filthy. Some comics say the most outrageous things, but they say them within the confines of a club, not in a forum to the world. I think that’s what makes the difference here.
Sick, cruel humor has always been around. Some people love it. I happen not to, but that’s coming from someone who wrote nasty jokes for Friars Roasts for many years. BUT, … I ALWAYS asked the person being Roasted if there was anything that was off-limits to him, so that I wouldn’t write anything particularly hurtful. That’s just me.
Maybe human beings have a naturally cruel side? Just go to any schoolyard, or high school to see what I mean. Probably all you have to do is think back to your own high school days. Not a very comfortable time right? Bullying isn’t something new. Kids make fun of other kids if they don’t think you fit the mold. And how many people actually did in those days.
I always say, ” If high school was the best time of your life you should probably kill yourself!” (LOL) For many people it was the worse time in their lives.
And very often those very same kids who didn’t fit in in high school went on to become comedians! They used humor to help them fit in. So many comics are socially awkward, and lacking in social graces. They only have personalities on stage. It’s an amazing thing! Offstage they can be quiet and shy.
In any case, Mark Amazon and the other radio hosts I spoke with didn’t seem to be coming down too harshly on Gilbert. They all seemed to understand that Gilbert was being Gilbert. It’s unfortunate that it had to happen at all, meaning the devastation that hit Japan in the first place, and the Tweeting that followed it.
Let’s send Healing energy to all parties!