It's always sad when someone is trying to be funny, but just plain isn't. It's downright disgusting when someone is trying to be funny, but is completely oblivious that they're being racist while doing it. That's the case with PR executive Justine Sacco.
Sacco is -- possibly, was -- the Senior Director of Corporate Communications at IAC. The media conglomerate operates websites like OkCupid, About.com, CollegeHumor, Vimeo, The Daily Beast and more. En route to South Africa, Sacco dropped a supremely racist tweet that spread like wildfire and has some calling it the “worst tweet of the year.”
“Going to Africa. Hope I don’t get AIDS. Just kidding. I’m white!” Sacco tweeted from London's Heathrow airport before departing on her trip. The tweet caused such an uproar, despite her 1,158 followers, on Twitter that it began the hashtag #HasJustineLandedYet. That was Friday, by Saturday AM Sacco's entire Twitter page had been disabled.
“This is an outrageous, offensive comment that does not reflect the views and values of IAC,” wrote the company in a statement. "Unfortunately, the employee in question is unreachable on an international flight, but this is a very serious matter, and we are taking appropriate action."
That didn't calm the masses. The damage had been done, and it only took 140 characters. Soon JustineSacco.com, believed to be set up by a rogue operation, was directing people to African charities.
Sacco's past tweets don't exactly quiet the thunder. "I can't be fired for things I say while intoxicated right?" she tweeted in January of 2013. Or this one: "I had a sex dream about an autistic kid last night. #fml"
In the end, even Gogo Inflight Internet had some strong words for Sacco.
— Gogo (@Gogo) December 21, 2013