Justine Sacco, the public relations executive that sparked outrage on Twitter over her insensitive tweet about AIDS in Africa, released a statement apologizing for her comments, ABC News reports.
In the statement, Sacco surprisingly states that she is a native of South Africa and “ashamed” for her “needless and careless tweet.” Sacco worked as the head of corporate communications at InterActive Corp., before being let go for a tweet that read: “Going to Africa. Hope I don’t get AIDS. Just kidding. I’m white!”
Sacco sent her apology to a South African newspaper, the Star, that stated:
“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. “
Sacco’s former employer InterActive Corp., quickly released a statement Saturday distancing themselves from Sacco and letting the public know that she had been fired.
“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.”
Upon landing in South Africa Saturday, Sacco quickly deleted the damning tweet and her account, but the damage had clearly already been done. Good luck finding another job…