PR Executive Justine Sacco Fired For ‘Most Racist Tweet’ Of 2013
A major PR executive was sacked from her job after posting what some have described as the “most racist tweet” of 2013. Justine Sacco was the top PR person for InterActiveCorp, which owns Match.com, Dictionary.com and OkCupid, among others. However, she’s now for looking a new job after posting a tweet on her flight from London to South Africa which read: “Going to Africa. Hope I don’t get AIDS. Just kidding. I’m white!”
Her employers at IAC tried to reach her immediately, but Sacco was in the air and unaware of the controversy she had caused. The racist tweet was retweeted over 3,000 times and picked up by news sites across the globe within a matter of hours. IAC released a statement while she was en route to Africa, declaring that “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.”
By the time Sacco landed in South Africa, #HasJustineLandedYet had become a trending topic on Twitter. She removed her Twitter account shortly afterwards, but IAC did one better by removing her name from their website and firing her.
Afterwards, an “ashamed” Sacco apologized for her tweet in a statement to a South African publication and said that she was “very sorry for the pain I caused.” IAC also released a statement afterwards which said that while they parted ways professionally with Sacco, they hoped her racist tweet would not lead to the wholesale condemnation of an individual who we have otherwise known to be a decent person at core.”