Justine Sacco, an ignorant Public Relations executive working with InterActiveCorp, who tweeted, “Going to Africa, hope I don’t get AIDS’ has issued a statement apologising for her insensitive and racist tweet. Her statement was issued to South African paper, The Star, a day after losing her job for her astonishing tweet.
Read her apology below;
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.”
As a PR executive, Justine’s job was to build a good image of her organisation and the public. Instead, she went ahead and place them in a difficult situation. She clearly underestimated the power of the internet and social media.
Before losing her job, Justine Sacco was the director of corporate communications at media company IAC.