Monday morning, Dec. 23 finds the airwaves still buzzing over the tweet heard round the world over the weekend. IAC public relations executive, Justine Sacco, tweeted “Going to Africa. Hope I don't get AIDS. Just kidding. I'm white,” as she boarded her plane for a flight from London's Heathrow Airport to Cape Town, South Africa on Friday. According to news sources ranging from ABC's Good Morning America to the internet news site, Philly.com, Sacco was blindsided by the fated ending to her position with IAC throughout the nearly 12 hours she was airborne.
Before the top publicist's plane was long in the air, #HasJustineLandedYet exploded across the internet. The internet social media community, obviously, alert to the dire consequences of such a tweet being made public, could not wait to make their opinions known — unbeknownst to the author of those racist, insensitive words in the less than appropriate tweet from the high-level PR executive.
A prominent representative and head of corporate communications for IAC, the media company in charge of accounts for companies which include The Daily Beast and Match.com, Sacco's tweet was viewed by the public as unprofessional and highly offensive. ABC's Good Morning America reported Monday morning that Sacco was “called the racist after posting that stunningly offensive tweet right before boarding a plane, in the air and unaware that she was about to be fired.” Internet news site, Philly.com, said “obviously, the Internet realized that Sacco's head was on the chopping block and began to mock her with #HasJustineLandedYet, knowing full well that she'd be reprimanded/fired immediately upon reaching her destination.” According to both sources Sacco, eventually, apologized for her racist gaffe, however, was fired by IAC by the time she landed in South Africa on Friday.
Sacco told ABC News, “Words cannot express how sorry I am, and how necessary it is for me to apologize to the people of South Africa.” A similar statement from the former IAC communications executive was posted on Philly.com, including the surprising admission that she was originally from South Africa. Also, the original statement of apology issued by IAC on last Friday preceding Sacco's firing is posted on the site, as well.