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[Image via Pacific Coast News.]
This is being coined as the extremely insensitive tweet heard round the world!
Justine Sacco, a *former* director of communications at Diller's IAC, was fired after tweeting the following before boarding a flight from London to Africa on December 20th:
“Going to Africa. Hope I don’t get AIDS. Just kidding. I’m white!”
As soon as her phone was turned off, Twitter lost its shizzz—spreading the tweet virally and sparking hashtags like #HasJustineLandedYet.
In the midst of the public and media-driven firestorm, IAC issued a statement condemning Justine's words and firing her on the spot:
"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. There is no excuse for the hateful statements that have been made and we condemn them unequivocally. We hope, however, that time and action, and the forgiving human spirit, will not result in the wholesale condemnation of an individual who we have otherwise known to be a decent person at core."
Justine has issued an apology since the incident that you can ch-ch-check it out….AFTER THE JUMP!!!
"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, that 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 that one has never witnessed firsthand. For being insensitive to this crisis — which does not discriminate by race, gender or sexual orientation, but which terrifies us all uniformly — and to the millions of people living with the virus, I am ashamed. This is my father's country, and I was born here. I cherish my ties to South Africa and my frequent visits, but I am in anguish knowing that my remarks have caused pain to so many people here; my family, friends and fellow South Africans. I am very sorry for the pain I caused."
Ch-ch-check out Justine's original tweet (below)!