IAC has terminated the employment of Justine Sacco, its now former corporate communications staffer at the center of controversy over a tweet that the company viewed as “offensive.”
The company also stated that despite the controversial tweet, it had “otherwise known [Sacco] to be a decent person at core.”
Here is IAC’s full statement:
“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.
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.”
Sacco gained notoriety on Friday for the tweet she wrote before a trip to Cape Town, South Africa that offended many and generated loads of social media responses.
The tweet read: “Going to Africa. Hope I don’t get AIDS. Just Kidding. I’m white!”
She later deleted her Twitter account, presumably upon arriving to her destination and seeing that her employer Barry Diller‘s IAC Responds to PR Chief’s ‘Offensive’ Tweet About AIDS” href=”http://www.thewrap.com/Justine-Sacco-IAC-AIDS-CollegeHumor-Electus” target=”_blank”>had denounced the tweet and that it had generated so much attention.
As of Friday night, IAC had already removed her name from its website’s media contacts list ahead of its official announcement of her employment termination and before she landed in Cape Town.
Barry Diller‘s IAC owns and operates a myriad of digital businesses, from Ben Silverman‘s production company Electus to video sites Vimeo and CollegeHumor. Sacco has worked there for more than two years, joining from WWE.
Sacco’s tweet spread quickly on social media. For a time, #HasJustineLandedYet became the No. 1 non-promoted hashtag on Twitter while she was en route to Cape Town. It was also covered widely by both trade and consumer news sites.
One relief organization, Aid for Africa, registered the domain name justinesacco.com, and had it redirect to their site on Friday.