UPDATE: Yup. Fired. Per an email statement from IAC:
“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.”
Roughly 18 hours ago, it’s likely that you had no idea who Justine Sacco was. Now, thanks to the power of Twitter and stupidity, everybody knows who she is after watching her career implode while she was napping device-less on a flight from London to South Africa.
To recap, Sacco is (or was) a PR honcho for IAC, which means little to us except that her company is the reason College Humor exists. She said this yesterday, before hopping on a flight to South Africa:
The tweet went viral, her account ballooned to more than 8,000 followers, #HasJustineLandedYet became the top-trending hashtag on Twitter, and in Sacco’s silence, various brands took advantage of the controversy.
— Gogo (@Gogo) December 21, 2013
— ONE (@ONECampaign) December 21, 2013
— Aid for Africa (@AidforAfrica) December 21, 2013
Funny story about that last tweet – Aid for Africa totally bought justinesacco.com and turned it into a donation page. Always buy your domains, people.
Amazingly, most of this unfolded as Sacco was in the air, completely unaware. When she landed, she predictably deleted her account.
According to a statement provided to ValleyWag, IAC was waiting for Sacco to land as much as the rest of us were.
“This is an outrageous, offensive comment that does not reflect the views and values of IAC. Unfortunately, the employee in question is unreachable on an international flight, but this is a very serious matter and we are taking appropriate action.”
“Appropriate action” must mean “we sacked her,” because her name was removed from IAC’s media contacts list on their website. Neither IAC or Sacco have followed up with a statement, but it seems pretty clear she was fired.
Anybody looking to get into PR?