Yes, Ben Affleck is aware how similar his last name is to insurance giant Aflac. No, he has no connection to the company — but he would like a discount at this point.
The actor, who scored a SAG Award nomination on Wednesday for his supporting role in George Clooney’s “The Tender Bar,” has been on a tear against the insurance company of late, joking about how often he gets asked about his nonexistent connection to Aflac, and recounting stories of trauma that have come from having such a similar name. This week, in a new interview with Wired, the actor finally asked for something in return.
During the outlet’s “Autocomplete Interview” — in which actors answer the most-searched questions about themselves on Google — Affleck was asked whether he owns Aflac Insurance. Sighing heavily, he went into it.
“This is my cross to bear,” the actor started explaining tiredly to “Tender Bar” co-star Lily Rabe. “Imagine this. Imagine having a very unusual, kind of slightly unappealing sounding name. Now imagine that, somehow, there’s a huge insurance company, that also has that name. Now imagine that insurance company has a bottomless budget to buy television commercials. And now imagine that their creative choice is to hire a duck to shriek your last name in as loud and obnoxious a way as humanly possible for the duration of a television commercial.”
Then Affleck got a little more specific, remembering one particularly long and especially annoying encounter he had while traveling.
“And then imagine what it’s like when you’re on an airplane, and the hammered lady behind you recognizes you, and thinks she’s gonna do her best Gilbert Gottfried for six hours, all the way to New York,” Affleck continued, referencing the comedian with a distinctively abrasive voice. “Thank you, Aflac! I don’t own it! But I deserve it. I would like a discount.”
Nice try Affleck, but Aflac disagrees. In a witty statement Thursday to TheWrap, the company essentially said no dice, or duck in this case.
“Unfortunately, industry regulations prevent us from offering Mr. Affleck a discount. That said, it is worth noting that just about every advertising and PR agency we’ve ever worked with has pitched us a Ben Affleck idea. Maybe someday we’ll see the two together,” the statement said. “In the meantime, the Aflac Duck has a message for Mr. Affleck.”
So what does the duck think? Well, here are the bird’s thoughts: “Mr. Affleck, I feel your pain. People are always calling me ‘Ben’ and asking me how Matt is doing. I mean, I know that we are both celebrities, but aside from our broad shoulders, washboard abs and our ability to romance the camera, I do not see the similarities. This is getting reduckulous.”