An executive at a New York City-based public relations firm will likely be in hot water after a racist AIDS-related tweet was sent from her account.
Justine Sacco sent a tweet about 8:45 a.m. Arizona time that read, “Going to Africa. Hope I don’t get AIDS. Just kidding. I’m white!”
The tweet was retweeted and favorited by other users hundreds of times.
Sacco’s Twitter page said she works in corporate communication at IAC/InterActiveCorp, commonly called IAC, a large public relations firm. An Internet search showed that her full title is Director of Corporate Communications.
According to Wikipedia, IAC owns more than 50 brands in more than 40 countries. The company owns sites such as ask.com, Match.com, Urbanspoon, Vimeo, Dictionary.com and BlackPeopleMeet.com.
According to Business Insider, IAC released a statement that it was aware of the tweet and were taking action.
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.
Sacco’s Twitter account was closed sometime Saturday, but not before the internet went berserk over the offensive post. #HasJustineLandedYet spent time as Twitter’s top trend on Friday, IAC removed Sacco’s name from their website before her flight touched down, AIDS awareness group Aid for Africa plucked up JustineSacco.com and airline wi-fi provider Gogo capitalized on the misstep for its own marketing purposes.
— Gogo (@Gogo) December 21, 2013
Amid the fallout, one Twitter user, @Zac_R, tracked down Sacco’s father in Cape Town. A South African, the elder Sacco told @Zac_R that he chose to raise his family in the United States because of the prevalence of racism in South Africa.
Just had a chat to @JustineSacco's father. He's South African. He didn't want to raise her in South Africa because of racism.
— Zac (@Zac_R) December 21, 2013
On Saturday afternoon, CNN reported that IAC had parted ways with Sacco.
- The bride's guide to feeling your best on your wedding day
- Deciding when you need knee surgery
- Celebrating Fourth of July is much cooler in these AZ towns
- Top ten road trip bathrooms in America
- Six things causing a pain in your neck
- 5 things to make your summer move easier
- Three elements of a strong timeshare exit guarantee
- Stretches and exercises for carpal tunnel syndrome
- The best Major League ballparks have their own personality
- Comparing the best regular seasons: The '96 Bulls and '16 Warriors
- 3 Arizona road trips and the vehicles to get you there
- Colon cancer is preventable. Check these signs and symptoms to stay healthy.
- 6 of the biggest skin cancer myths
- Affordable small home makeover ideas
- Locals helping locals: 6 success stories you need to know about
- Sunscreen facts that could save your life
- 6 energy saving hacks for your home
- 5 tips for choosing a company to end your timeshare
- Overlooked water tips to save you money
- 5 of the most adored gentlemen in professional sports today
- The real danger of sitting at your desk
- Most surprising NBA playoff performances of the last 40 years
- 11 classic baseball movies you must see again
- Finally getting rid of fat: 3 methods that actually work
- 4 reasons cancer survivors should focus on food
- 5 spring cleaning spots everyone forgets
- 5 reasons to look forward to watching the D-backs this season
- Common virus attributed to spike in head and neck cancers
- 5 signs it’s time to end your timeshare ownership
- 3 most overlooked ways to keep your home healthy