Justine Sacco has been fired from IAC following backlash from a racist tweet she posted Friday.
Sacco wrote, “Going to Africa. Hope I don’t get AIDS. Just kidding. I’m white!”
Sacco’s post remained on Twitter most of the day Friday because she was on a flight from London to South Africa. The response on the social media website was swift — the tweet generated the hashtag #HasJustineLandedYet, which became a trending topic Friday night. Not only that, but someone purchased the domain JustineSacco.com, which redirects to the Aid for Africa website.
Upon landing, Sacco, who was IAC’s senior director of corporate communications, first deleted the tweet and then her entire Twitter account.
IAC, which owns over 150 Internet brands, released a statement Saturday confirming that Justine Sacco had been fired. The company also removed Sacco’s name from its website.
“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,” the statement read.
“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.”
New York-based IAC owns The Daily Beast, Match.com, College Humor, Vimeo, About.com, and dozens more websites. It also owns Tinder, a matchmaking app that facilitates communication between users, and is an investor in Aereo, a technology company that allows subscribers to watch live as well as time-shifted streams of over-the-air television.
Justine Sacco joined IAC in September 2011 after working as a publicist at WWE. Twitter user @Zac_R said he was at the airport when Sacco landed and spoke to her father, who is a wealthy South African businessman. Her father said he decided to raise his daughter in the United States because South Africa was “too racist.”