and not too bright either...
The PR executive who was summarily
dismissed after her racist Tweet sparked a revolt on social media has
apologised - as her own father called her a ‘f****** idiot’.
Sacco said that she was ‘ashamed’ over her actions and said she had
been ‘cavalier’ in making her tasteless joke about the AIDS crisis in
But her father, who has not been publicly named, was more forthright and said that what she did was ‘unforgivable’.
Flying into the storm: This photo, snapped by
Twitter user Zac_R, was taken as Justine Sacco got off a 12 hour flight
at Cape Town airport after arriving from London. The PR representative
would have just been discovering the furor her racist Tweet had created
while she was in the air
also apparently backed the campaign to name and shame his daughter as,
in an ironic twist, it emerged he moved his family from Cape Town to the
US in 1994 to escape racism at the end of Apartheid.
is now thought to be holed up with her family in South Africa and will
be spending Christmas coming to terms with her sudden ascent to the
Internet's public enemy no.1.
Losing her job as a communications director could also mean losing her US work visa -potentially forcing her to leave America.
was fired by IAC, a major US media company which owns Match.com and
Vimeo, after she sent the Tweet as she was about to board a 12-hour
flight from London to Cape Town.
It read: ‘Going to Africa. Hope I don't get AIDS. Just Kidding. I'm White!'
post was retweeted over 3,000 times and was picked up by media outlets
around the world, however Sacco remained completely unaware of it all
because she was in the air.
The blonde publicist was pictured arriving in Cape Town looking shocked and talking on her phone.
Moments later the offending Tweet and Sacco's Twitter account disappeared - and IAC announced it had fired her.
Now she has apologised in a statement released to The Star, a South African newspaper.
It read: ‘My greatest concern was this statement reach South Africa first.
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.
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.
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.
Justine Sacco has no idea her offensive tweet made the news because she is on a flight to Africa
Career suicide: IAC says that they will take
'appropriate action' against the tweet sent by Justine Sacco (pictured
above in shots from her Facebook account) with the high powered
executive likely to lose her job
‘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.’
user Zac_R, who lives in Cape Town, had been so astonished by the story
when it erupted he went to the airport to meet Sacco where he spoke to
‘Justine's dad is apologeti & basically in tears."I decided to raise
her in the US. SA was too racist". Oh, the irony!’
also said that Sacco’s father did not seem racist and claimed he said:
‘I'm so incredibly ashamed of her. She's a f****** idiot’. The dad also
said: ‘She better know she'll be paying for this!’
wrote: ‘Based on the few mins chat, it seemed father made the decision
to move to the US. HE believed this to be best for his family.
‘Justine's dad is like many South Africans who fled the country post '94. He believed "the country would be a s***hole".
Zac_R took a picture of Sacco on his mobile phone her teenager brother
shouted at him, but their father apparently stepped in and said: ‘YOU
should be apologizing to HIM! What she did was unforgivable!’
landed in Africa on British Airways Flight 43 about 11.30pm Friday and
one can only imagine the number of angry responses she would have
received once turning her cell phone on.
Joke's on her: Sacco's tweet inspired twitter users like this one to make a mock page dedicated to her racist comments
You most certainly can: This tweet Sacco wrote in January may have been a self fulfilling prophecy
The hashtag '#hasjustinelandedyet' was trending on Twitter around the world at the time as thousands awaited Sacco's response.
Sacco’s Tweet went viral on the Internet she blasted for being
'outrageous' and 'inappropriate', with titles like 'Worst Tweet of the
Year' stacking up against her.
confirming they had fired her - and with Sacco still in mid-air - IAC
released a statement condemning her behaviour as 'outrageous and
'This is an outrageous, offensive comment that does not reflect the views and values of IAC,’ said the statement.
the employee in question is unreachable on an international flight, but
this is a very serious matter and we are taking appropriate action,' a
representative from IAC told the International Business Times.
IAC later announced she had been dismissed.
In an ugly twist, Sacco herself is now being subjected to racism herself on Twitter.
the many brutal Tweets which were sent her way was one from a user
calling themselves Beyonce Supreme who wrote: ‘B**** I HOPE A GORILLA
In-flight internet service provider Gogo was also forced to backtrack after trying to cash in on the row.
its official Twitter account Gogo wrote: ‘Next time you plan to tweet
something stupid before you take off, make sure you are getting on a
@Gogo flight! CC: @JustineSacco’
users complained that such a comment was ‘shameful’ the company made
things worse by saying to one user: ‘With inflight connectivity the full
story would have already been out there.’
Only when Gogo’s first comment had been retweeted 1,000 times and branded ‘weak and exploitative’ did it change its mind.
What a mess: Sacco will have some explaining to do for her sloppy behavior on twitter
next Tweet read: ‘@JustineSacco,apologize for response to your
tweet.Right or wrong,It’s not our policy to engage on these subjects.We
clearly need a review.’
Sacco’s blunder led to scrutiny of not just her racist Tweet, but Tweets she had written before.In
February 2012 she wrote: 'I had a sex dream about an autistic kid last night.'
about 12 hours before the racist Tweet, she wrote: 'Weird German Dude:
You're in first class. It's 2014. Get some deodorant' -Inner monologue
as I inhale BO. Thank god for pharmaceuticals.'
However it was 'joke' about Africa and AIDS that caused the commotion.
Twitter user Stephanie Be wrote in response: 'WOW! Reinforce the ignorant American stereotype much?'
John M. Becker tweeted: 'Are you even real?!? This is utterly ghastly on so many levels.'
Josephine Baker wrote: 'listen, homegirl is about to be FIRED.'
Post stated that there is a possibility that the young PR executive's
account may have been hacked. However that is unlikely as her twitter
profile has a number of other tweets that may also be deemed offensive.
Sacco wrote: 'I can't be fired for things I say while intoxicated right?'
also wrote: 'I like animals, but when it's this cold out I'll skin one
myself for the fur' and tweeted the comment directly at PETA, a famous
animal rights organization.
The Tulane alum also tweeted: 'Last day of hurricane season. Can't wait for evacuations next year.'
enough, Tulane is located in New Orleans, a city in which more than
half of the population is black, according to infoplease.com.
Orleans also suffered tremendously after Hurricane Katrina decimated
homes, took several lives, and wrecked the local economy.
Twitter user took it so far as to create a fake profile for Sacco named
LOL Justine Sacco. Her Byline reads, 'PR Disaster. Racist idiot.
the mock tweets reads, 'I think the lady across the aisle is clicking at
me. I'm sorry...I don't speak Kwanzaa LOL #whitesanta
mock tweet reads, '@Paperboy415 Been downing #WhiteRussians all flight
in support of #Sochi2014! Seat 5A sent me a Johnnie Walker Black, but I
sent it back!'
tried contacting IAC's media relations department, and since the contact
listed on their website was Sacco herself, no one was available for
On the IAC website
her name has been removed and has been replaced with 'corporate
communications.' The voice mail which previously gave out her personal
cell phone number for media inquiries with a strict deadline, has also
The reason Sacco is traveling to Africa is still unknown, but chances are that Sacco won't get the warmest Christmas welcome.
to dosomething.org out of the 34 million people in the world who have
HIV, 69 percent live in sub-Saharan Africa. There are around 23.8
million people in Africa with AIDS.
(Acquired immune deficiency syndrome or acquired immunodeficiency
syndrome) is caused by the Virus HIV ( Human immunodeficiency syndrome).
It can be transmitted via sexual intercourse, blood to blood contact,
HIV greatly lowers the human immune system making it easier for those infected to carry fatal diseases.