Justine Sacco, a PR director of InterActiveCorp (IAC), has been fired after her racist tweet went viral.
The New York-based media company, IAC, heads many well-known companies such as About.com, Match.com, The Daily Beast, Dictionary.com, and many more. The company also owns BlackPeopleMeet.com, a dating site for African-Americans. On Saturday, December 21, IAC issued a statement confirming that the company has fired Sacco.
Flashback. Just prior to boarding a flight for her vacation in South Africa, Sacco tweeted, "Going to Africa. Hope I don't get AIDS. Just kidding. I'm white!" Earlier this month, world leaders converged in South Africa to pay their last respects to anti-apartheid hero Nelson Mandela.
Before the tweet, Sacco had just a few hundred followers. However, her racial tweet went viral and soon she had thousands of followers, many of whom vented their ire.
Parody accounts have also started on Twitter as well as Facebook that portrays Sacco as a racist and mean person. Moreover, a Twitter hashtag, #HasJustineLandedYet had become a running commentary about Sacco.
Not surprisingly, IAC quickly issued a statement confirming that it has fired Sacco over the racist tweet.
"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," said an IAC spokesman in a statement. "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."
Twitter user @Zac_R claims that he was at the Cape Town airport in South Africa where Sacco's flight was to land. The Twitter user says that he spoke to Sacco's father, who is a South African. Her father seemed apologetic and said that he did not want to raise Justine in South Africa because of racism. Oh, the irony.
Sacco's Twitter account is no more live; presumably she has deleted her tweets and deactivated her account. Sacco's Facebook account is not visible anymore. That's fine because we doubt whether anybody will miss her.