Media Executive Fired Over ‘Tweet Heard Round the World’

Dec 23, 2013  •  Post A Comment

A public relations executive who held a top position in a media firm was fired after sending a tweet that sparked outrage for what is being described as racial insensitivity. CNN reports that Justine Sacco, who headed corporate communications for IAC, the media company chaired by Barry Diller, was let go.

IAC said it “parted ways” with Sacco after she wrote, “Going to Africa. Hope I don’t get AIDS. Just kidding. I’m white!"

In a statement, an IAC spokesman said: “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."

Sacco sent the tweet before she left Friday for Cape Town, South Africa. The message created outrage on social media, with Boing Boing calling it “the tweet heard round the world.”

Given that Sacco’s job was to communicate with reporters, her insensitive tweet was “all the more shocking,” CNN notes. Before she posted her comment, her Twitter account was relatively unknown, with just 500 followers. As Sacco was on a flight to South Africa, her tweet went viral.

“Websites such as Valleywag and Buzzfeed highlighted Sacco’s account, and soon it had thousands of followers — and thousands of harsh replies directed at it. Some were downright hateful. Others said they felt sorry for Sacco, regardless of how offensive her Twitter message was, because she hadn’t had a chance to defend herself during the 12-hour flight,” the story adds.

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  1. Do they know for sure that it was her and that someone did not hack her account? Does she have substance abuse issues?

  2.  One can’t help but wonder if the general alarm and offense of Sacco’s comments wasn’t so much what she said, that it was in poor taste was a given but perhaps what was more alarming was the cavalier way she went on to express a point of view that may in the end be harbored by many even if they dare not publicly admit to it and that too is the catch…. the head of a pr department going on to betray a kind of privileged stasis that may be tolerated by insiders on the quiet but never openly tolerated when one dares to show off how wonderfully repugnant and insensitive one can be, because they can afford to….. until that is the day they can’t. 
    Really are we surprised Justine Sacco said what she said or is she endemic of a privileged breed that harbor such points of views….???

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