IAC corp comms director's AIDS tweet sparks outrage

IAC vowed to take action on Friday afternoon after a tweet sent from the account of its corporate communications director that ridiculed the AIDS virus sparked outrage on Twitter and numerous blogs.

NEW YORK: IAC vowed to take action on Friday afternoon after a tweet sent from the account of its corporate communications director that ridiculed the AIDS virus sparked outrage on Twitter and numerous blogs.

The tweet, posted on the account of IAC senior corporate communications director Justine Sacco, read, “Going to Africa. Hope I don't get AIDS. Just kidding. I'm white!”

Update: IAC released a statement on Saturday afternoon saying it has parted ways with Sacco.

"There is no excuse for the hateful statements that have been made and we condemn them unequivocally," it said in the statement. "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."

Sacco's comment caused a firestorm on Twitter, blogs such as Valleywag, and websites including that of the International Business Times. Many Twitter users called the tweet racist and homophobic.

IAC, which owns more than 150 brands and products, such as Vimeo, OkCupid, Dictionary.com, The Daily Beast, and Urban Spoon, said in an emailed statement that it was an “outrageous, offensive comment that does not reflect the views and values” of the company.

“Unfortunately, the employee in question is unreachable on an international flight, but this is a very serious matter and we are taking appropriate action,” IAC added in the statement. The company did not respond to additional questions about what action would be taken.

Sacco was not immediately reachable for comment via phone on Friday.

By late Friday afternoon, the message was retweeted nearly 900 times and favorited by more than 350 Twitter users.

Sacco joined IAC in September 2011 as director of corporate communications and was promoted to senior corporate communications director this July, according to her LinkedIn profile. She is listed as director of corporate communications on IAC's website.

Prior to IAC, Sacco worked at WWE for nearly three years, first serving as a publicist for two years, then as manager of corporate communications and publicity, according to her LinkedIn profile. She also held roles at The Morris + King Company and DKC. 

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register
Already registered?
Sign in