Justine Sacco made headlines back in December of 2013 with her infamous tweet about AIDS in Africa. For those who don’t remember, Justice, the former senior director of corporate communications at IAC, took to Twitter before boarding a plane to African for a business trip.
She tweeted, “Going to Africa. Hope I don’t get AIDS. Just kidding. I’m white!”
Then, she turned off her phone for the duration of the flight. Although she probably considered the tweet to be a harmless joke, many Twitter users did not.
The offensive tweet immediately began circulating around the social media network under the hashtag #HasJustineLandedYet. By the time she made it to Africa, her life had already spiraled out of control. A friend reportedly deleted her Twitter account, but, unfortunately, it was too late.
Many outraged Twitter users had already posted screenshots of the jaw-dropping tweet as it continued to trend worldwide. But, that’s not all. Although the Twitter account was deleted, the account had already been analyzed and a number of other controversial tweets were discovered. The Buzzfeed article titled, “16 Tweets Justine Sacco Regrets”only added to the public humiliation, depicting her in an extremely negative light.
IAC also received negative flack for her controversial tweet, which is why she was terminated. Now, more than a year after the highly insensitive post, she’s revealed that things haven’t gotten much better. According to Daily Mail, she admits the 12-word tweet has destroyed her life. During a recent discussion with best-selling British author Jon Ronson, she revealed her employment status wasn’t the only thing affected by the tweet. It actually disrupted her entire life. She stated that she didn’t think the tweet would garner as much attention as it did. However, she did admit that the comment was highly inappropriate.
“Only an insane person would think that white people don’t get AIDS. I thought there was no way that anyone could possibly think it was literal,” Justine said. “Unfortunately, I am not a character on ‘South Park’ or a comedian, so I had no business commenting on the epidemic in such a politically incorrect manner on a public platform. To put it simply, I wasn’t trying to raise awareness of AIDS or p*** off the world or ruin my life. Living in America puts us in a bit of a bubble when it comes to what is going on in the third world. I was making fun of that bubble.”
She also revealed how the aftermath and public humiliation took a toll on her health, well-being, and personal life. She reportedly had issues finding another job and even dating became quite difficult once prospects realized who she was.
“I cried out my body weight in the first 24 hours. It was incredibly traumatic. You don’t sleep. You wake up in the middle of the night forgetting where you are.”
Justine Sacco is featured in Jon Ron’s latest book, So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed.
[Image via Facebook]