Justine Sacco has now apologized for the infamous tweet she posted about AIDS two days after the insensitive remark went viral, causing her to lose her public relations job.
On Friday, Sacco tweeted "Going to Africa. Hope I don't get AIDS. Just kidding. I'm white!" and since then she's lost her job at InterActive Corp., which owns websites like Vimeo, Match.com and Dictionary.com, according to ABCNews.com.
While she was on her flight, the tweet launched a virtual witch hunt and people across the web started spewing hatred in her direction.
In fact, #HasJustineLanded trended for a full 24 hours on Twitter, according to HashTracking.com.
Sacco first issued an apology to The Star, a South African newspaper, and then to ABCNews.com on Sunday.
The statement reads: “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.”
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