Justine Sacco and the Tweet Heard ‘Round the World

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December 23, 2013 by gabnormal


By now everyone has probably heard about the PR chief (now ex-PR chief) from IAC, the major media company that owns Match.com, CollegeHumor and a bunch of other huge websites, who tweeted the most insensitive thing to hit the internet since Phil Robertson’s anti-gay spew in GQ.

Justine Sacco, who was fired this weekend, was on her way to South Africa when she tweeted “Going to Africa. Hope I don’t get AIDS. Just kidding. I’m white!”


Not even close.

What even possesses a person to think such a thing, much less tweet it out so the whole world can know how much of an insensitive and intolerant person you are?

The media firestorm that ensued took place without Sacco’s knowledge – she was still on her flight from London to South Africa. While on the flight her employer released this statement “This is an outrageous, offensive comment that does not reflect the views and values of IAC. Unfortunately, the employee in question is unreachable on an international flight, but this is a very serious matter and we are taking appropriate action.”

In less than 140 characters Sacco was not only unbelievably racist, but mocked an epidemic that continues to claim the lives of millions annually. She followed up with an apology – something she’s probably had to do for many clients of her own – full of bland, non-genuine PR nonsense, something about how she’s so sorry and understands the severity of her comment due to the extent of the disease and also she’s sorry because racism blah blah.

Whatever. If you want to read the full thing HuffPo has it here. But we all know it’s a ton of PR garbage.

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