Justine Sacco Apologizes Over AIDS Tweet After Being Fired

By Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Reporter
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. and world news. He is based in Maryland.
December 31, 2013 Updated: July 18, 2015

Justine Sacco, who made international headlines with her tweet about Africa and AIDS, apologized after she was fired.

Sacco was a communications executive for IAC, the parent company of a range of tech products such as Vimeo, CollegeHumor, and Dictionary.com.

Her tweet was “Going to Africa. Hope I don’t get AIDS. Just kidding. I’m white!” and it sparked a fierce backlash.

After she landed in South Africa, she discovered a firestorm that included death threats. She was also fired.

In a statement, Sacco apologized.

“Words can not 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,” she 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.”

 

 

Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. and world news. He is based in Maryland.