Justine Sacco, PR director for InterActiveCorp (IAC) tweeted from an airport, “Going to Africa. Hope I don’t get AIDS. Just kidding. I’m white!” And so began a tale of idiocy.
This tweet was a double whammy of offensiveness, managing to mock the AIDS epidemic in Africa while also being racist. Hence the outcry from large numbers of Internet users.
Everyone is entitled to free speech, of course, but IAC is also entitled to fire Sacco for bringing the company into disrepute. Especially as she was its PR director.
This whole sorry saga demonstrates several things: PR people are generally idiots, people tweet things without thinking about the consequences, there are some things which just shouldn’t be joked about.
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