Former PR executive Justine Sacco has issued an apology over a tweet she sent last week before a flight to Africa that ended up costing her her job.
Previously a Senior Director of Corporate Communications at IAC (which owns The Daily Beast, Match.com and other websites), she tweeted Friday:
“Going to Africa. Hope I don’t get AIDS. Just kidding. I’m white!”
The joke went viral and Justine Sacco was fired in short over.
She has since apologized in a statement provided to ABC:
“Words cannot express how sorry I am, and how necessary it is for me to apologize to the people of South Africa, who I have offended due to a needless and careless tweet.”
“There is an AIDS crisis taking place in this country, which we read about in America, but do not live with or face on a continuous basis.”
“Unfortunately, it is terribly easy to be cavalier about an epidemic one has never witnessed firsthand.”
Sacco was fired from her job following the attempt at humor and the slew of backlash across the Internet that followed while she was en route to Africa.
A hashtag #HasJustineLandedYet was among the top Twitter trends, while the story went viral and her (now-former) employer was forced to react quickly.
IAC said in a statement last weekend:
“The offensive comment does not reflect the views and values of IAC. We take this issue very seriously, and we have parted ways with the employee in question.”
Between Justine and the controversy surrounding Phil Robertson, it’s been quite the week for political correctness, free speech and online furor.