News of how the fired IAC public relations director Justine Sacco learned of her new-found celebrity has come to light.
On Friday, before boarding a plane to South Africa, Sacco tweeted the following:
While she was in the air over the continent whose health crisis she had mocked, news of her tweet spread around the Internet. As #HasJustineLandedYet trended on Twitter, one user of the service, Zac_R, decided to meet her flight as it landed.
According to the Atlantic Wire, he snapped this photograph of her as she exited the plane:
IAC announced that it had fired Sacco on Saturday. This morning, she issued an apology to ABC News.
“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,” Sacco said. “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.”
[Image of Sacco arriving at the airport used with permission via Twitter]
Scott Eric Kaufman is the proprietor of the AV Club's Internet Film School and, in addition to Raw Story, also writes for Lawyers, Guns & Money. He earned a Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of California, Irvine in 2008.
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