Justine Sacco, the now-former communications executive at IAC, who lost her job for tweeting a racist AIDS joke just before flying to Africa, has finally issued an apology. She first sent the apology to the South African newspaper The Star, explaining she wanted her statement to reach South Africans first, and it was then shared with ABC News. Sacco’s full apology:
“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. 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.”
All in all, it’s a solid, but awfully late apology, and I don’t love the line about it being “terribly easy to be cavalier” about the AIDS crisis in Africa if you haven’t seen it first hand. I mean, clearly it was terribly easy for her to be cavalier about it, but that statement reads a bit like she’s speaking for everyone who hasn’t seen the AIDS crisis in Africa firsthand, as if back in America cracking racist jokes about AIDS is like, the thing. Also, she carefully sidesteps apologizing for the racist element of her tweet.
Anyway, that’s where we stand. As for Justine’s future, I wouldn’t be too concerned. (What? You’re not concerned? Yeah, me neither.) There are rumors that Justine’s dad is South African billionaire Desmond Sacco, who made his fortune in mining during apartheid. [ABC News]