PR exec fired after tweeting AIDS joke before flight to Africa

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by MSYgirl, Dec 21, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. MSYgirl

    MSYgirl Gold Member

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    [article]

    (CNN) -- The "tweet heard round the world" was followed by the sound of a slamming door Saturday.

    Media company IAC has "parted ways" with the company PR executive who tweeted: "Going to Africa. Hope I don't get AIDS. Just kidding. I'm white!"

    IAC spokesman Ryan Trostle said Saturday: "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," he said. "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."

    [​IMG]
    Justine Sacco's tweet went viral while she was en route to South Africa.
    Sacco did not immediately respond to messages left by CNN.

    The tweet Justine Sacco sent before she left Friday for Cape Town, South Africa, went viral and created a social media firestorm.
     
  2. WhiteDesert

    WhiteDesert Silver Member

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    Almost every day I see something like this, and my faith in humanity erodes just a little more.
    Wow. Just wow.
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2013
  3. KENNECTED
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    KENNECTED Silver Member

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    She deserved to be fired.
     
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  4. LIH Prem
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    LIH Prem Gold Member

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    I completely condemn what she said and think she's an ass, but do you think somebody deserves to be fired for personal statements they make outside of work? If she used work resources to do it (either the work network, or a work smartphone or computer, etc), no issues there, then it was effectively done from work or using work resources, but what if it wasn't?

    The truth is we don't know if she made that tweet using work resources, and I would also take this as a caution to not mix your work and private computing or telecommuting. If work pays for your smartphone, it's their phone, not yours. If work gives you a computer for travel or home use, it's their computer, not yours. If works pays for your ISP service, well, maybe that one isn't as clear, but if they pay for it ...

    Anyway, the response on twitter was interesting to say the least.

    -David
     
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  5. MSYgirl

    MSYgirl Gold Member

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    I think the big factors are that she worked in PR and listed her employer on her Twitter account. At that point she perpetuated being representative of the company. Furthermore, I'd be scared to be in Africa after making that statement worldwide; girl better use an alias until she flies home.

    Update: someone bought justinesacco.com and made it redirect to the Aid for Africa charity. Perhaps her public embarassment will do some good in the end.
     
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  6. WhiteDesert

    WhiteDesert Silver Member

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    For my part, I was condemning her as a person. I think she's repugnant.

    I completely understand why she was fired in this case. I'm not sure that people should be fired for being assholes on their own time, but I think the question here is whether she really was on her own time since she identified her place of employment. I don't think it was that clear cut in this instance.
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2013
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  7. MSYgirl

    MSYgirl Gold Member

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  8. WhiteDesert

    WhiteDesert Silver Member

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    You're a jerk, Justine; an absolute knee biter.
     
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  9. LIH Prem
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    LIH Prem Gold Member

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    Good point.

    -David
     
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  10. LETTERBOY
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    LETTERBOY Gold Member

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    Yeah, I'm with you here. If she didn't list her employer on her Twitter bio, it's hard to imagine this getting any attention.
     
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  11. anileze

    anileze Gold Member

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    If you are front face of corporate communications for a media giant, I doubt you have a public-private, official-personal, space in your daily life; unless you keep two of everything. And really tune off !
     
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  12. NYBanker
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    NYBanker Gold Member

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    Bingo.
     
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  13. marcwint55

    marcwint55 Gold Member

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    The lack of intelligence displayed by this woman is enough of a reason to fire her from any job. The fact that she mentioned her employer left them no choice but to terminate her. The first thing she needs is a lesson in sensitivity and compassion. Her attempt at humor was repugnant, and the reactions to it were swift and accurate. Those of us who are fortunate enough to have healthy and successful lives should never forget how many others in this world will never experience this. I have nothing but contempt for anyone who jokes about the aids situation in Africa or anywhere else. Thousands of children are orphans because of this deadly disease and I'm certain they see no humor in the subject.
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2013
  14. arshavin

    arshavin Silver Member

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    Such a stupid and insensitive comment, which she found humorous. Looking at her Twitter feed, its not first stupid thing she has said. She should have been fired long time ago. There is a pattern here, which I am sure would have been kniwn.
     
  15. daninstl

    daninstl Gold Member

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    I think what gets me about this is that she is in Public Relations ! You'd think even a racist would know better in that type of job. Maybe too many pre-flight cocktails in the lounge?
     
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  16. WhiteDesert

    WhiteDesert Silver Member

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    This.
     
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  17. Mirror74

    Mirror74 Gold Member

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    I really wonder if the same exact thing happen to a male employee... would he also be fired or just seriously reprimended?
     
  18. MSYgirl

    MSYgirl Gold Member

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    [update]

    (CNN) -- Justine Sacco, a former PR executive who sparked a firestorm of controversy on Twitter, apologized Sunday for her "needless and careless tweet" about AIDS in Africa.

    In a written statement. Sacco apologized "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."

    She added that she is a native of South Africa and was upset that she had hurt so many people there.

    "I am very sorry for the pain I caused," she wrote.
     
  19. LETTERBOY
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    LETTERBOY Gold Member

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    If that were the only thing different, I'd bet they'd be fired.
     
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  20. Pizzaman
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    Pizzaman Co-founder

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    I've learned in life to never underestimate stupidity and ignorance.
     
  21. anileze

    anileze Gold Member

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    Here is the pithy core of her problem -

    She was the head of the spin food chain for Barry Diller's media properties. There was no way she (or anyone in her role) would have survived with just a reprimand.

    Gathered from the grapevine, that she was pulling a high six figure at the age 30 ? 0-120 mph and then a crash as fast !
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2013
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  22. anileze

    anileze Gold Member

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  23. LETTERBOY
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    I'd bet Phil will come back, sooner rather than later. He's an idiot, but there's an enormous uproar from Duck Dynasty fans. Cracker Barrel dropped his products, and almost immediately did a 180 because of all the grief they got, for example. A&E's probably trying to figure out how to put him back without looking like they caved. I'm not saying whether or not I agree personally with that outcome, but I'd bet that's what will happen.
     
  24. canucklehead
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    canucklehead Gold Member

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    Glad she got fired, anyone so stupid to say such a callous thing should be nowhere near a profession like communications (and frankly many other professions).
    Given what she has previously tweeted, she sounds like a very ugly person.
     
  25. KENNECTED
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    KENNECTED Silver Member

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    She was most likely fired because she has a morality clause in her contract and the company, has a "non discriminatory"/ "diversity" program.

    If they kept her, as a head of department, that would seriously hurt IAC - a consumer products company - in many ways.
     
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