Justine Sacco's tweet on Friday was not just racist, but sadly very immature for someone who is supposed to be a "public relations professional".
Sacco is PR director of corporate communication for IAC. She sparked outrage in the social media world after she tweeted Friday, “Going to Africa. Hope I don't get AIDS. Just kidding. I'm white!'
The chief PR officer, who represents brands like OKCupid, Vimeo, Tinder, and ironically, Blackpeoplemeet.com is said to have made the tweet from London shortly before departing to South Africa. Apparently, she was unaware of the firestorm she created while on her 12-hour flight.
By the time she landed in Cape Town, her post had been retweeted about 3000 times. She then promptly deleted her entire Twitter account, but the damage was already done. Her employer later issued a statement that blasted her tweet as “outrageous” and “offensive”.
“This is an outrageous, offensive comment that does not reflect the views and values of IAC,” read the statement. IAC, which is owned by Media tycoon Barry Diller, also said it had been unable to reach Sacco, “Unfortunately, the employee in question is unreachable on an international flight, but this is a very serious matter and we are taking appropriate action.”
IAC removes Justine Sacco from its website, her Twitter acct deleted. Incident prompts AIDS research/relief donations http://t.co/2CLRDFXSsN
— Nina L. Diamond (@ninatypewriter) December 21, 2013
One bitter Twitter user went as far as creating a domain name, justinesacco.com that links a coalition of charities that assist Sub-Saharan Africa.
— Sung Chang (@contempt) December 21, 2013
Sacco is most likely to receive a hostile landing and stay in Africa. Her arrival in Africa was anticipated shortly after the tweet went viral, and made the #HasJustineLandedYet hashtag a popular trending topic. One twitter user, @Zac_ R said he went to the airport just to see who Sacco was and take photos of her. Twitter user John Becker wrote in response: “'Are you even real?!? This is utterly ghastly on so many levels.”
— Zac (@Zac_R) December 21, 2013
— Yusuf Abramjee (@Abramjee) December 21, 2013
This is not the first time Justine Sacco has made offensive tweets, thus removing the likelihood that her Twitter account was hacked. In January 2013, she tweeted: “I can't be fired for things I say while intoxicated right?”
Another tweet she posted in February 2012 read: “I had a sex dream about an autistic kid last night.”
Images via Youtube and Twitter