‘Hope I Don’t Get AIDS…I’m White’ Woman Apologizes for Tweet
*Well that didn’t take long. Nor did we believe it would.
Apparently, Justine Sacco, the former communications director at Barry Diller’s media company, IAC, who wrote ‘the tweet heard around the world’ while en route to South Africa; and found it had gone viral by the time she landed, has released a profuse apology that was obtained by ABC News.
With an admission that she had been “cavalier” about the AIDS crisis, Sacco explained that South Africa “is my father’s country” and that she, too, was born there.
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.
Before submitting the apology to ABC News, the statement first ran in South African newspaper The Star. “My greatest concern was this statement reach South Africa first,” Sacco said.
The Wifi provider on that flight to Africa even joined the online war against Sacco, though they were blamed in tandem for taking advantage of someone else’s misfortune in an attempt to advertise their company.
But by the next day, they, too, had a change of heart (or thought better of it after a not-so-good night’s sleep) and sent this message.