Columbus, Georgia. Special to The Spoof. The duck who has served as the television commercial mascot for the Aflac insurance company for twenty years has started laying eggs.
While ducks lay eggs, an attorney hired by the duck in a sexual discrimination suit filed in Columbus today pointed out that the unusual aspect in this case is that viewers saw the duck blindly portrayed as a drake, not a hen. And therein lies the basis for the sexual identity suit brought by the Aflac duck.
"Aflac," as she has been referred to during the lengthy series of popular commercials made by the duck, has always been referred to as a male. Even the Wikipedia listing for the duck repeatedly uses the male gender in referring to "him".
When the egg laying began a week ago, the advertising agency for the insurance company called a temporary halt to production of new commercials while top executives sought a solution to their dilemma. One suggestion was to remove the eggs as they were laid. Another would have simply put the duck on hiatus until the eggs were hatched and the ducklings old enough to fend for themselves.
In the end, a junior executive came through in the clutch and the decision was to continue with the commercials, using a slightly different duck, one clearly a drake. That prompted the real Aflac duck to sue.
Preliminary court filings indicate the basis for the suit is sexual discrimination, with the company forcing the duck to live as a male these past twenty years. Before he found himself in his own legal troubles, Michael Avenatti was lead counsel for a raft of lawyers whom the hen hired on her behalf. Avenatti indicated the hen would settle out of court for $10 million.
In a show of support, duck mothers and their ducklings blocked traffic in front of Aflac company headquarters here this morning as gridlocked motorists chanted in sympathy "Aflac, Aflac, Aflac."