Former IAC PR executive Justine Sacco whose insensitive tweet about AIDS last year is reportedly featured in the upcoming book, So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed — where she recalls the warranted backlash she received.


On Dec. 20 of last year, Sacco posted “Going to Africa. Hope I don’t get AIDS. Just kidding. I’m white!”

The insensitive tweet stayed online for hours and the #HasJustineLandedYet hashtag became a worldwide trending topic on Twitter. Sacco was later fired as the communications officer at Barry Diller’s IAC.

“I had a great career and I loved my job and it was taken away from me and there was a lot of glory in that,” Sacco told Ronson. “It was incredibly traumatic. You don’t sleep. You wake up in the middle of the night forgetting where you are,” Sacco is quoted saying. “All of a sudden, you don’t know what you’re supposed to do.”

jpegIn Ronson’s book, Sacco reflects on the event and backlash.

“It was a joke about a dire situation that does exist in post-apartheid South Africa that we don’t pay attention to. It was completely outrageous commentary on the disproportionate AIDS statistics,” Sacco wrote. “Unfortunately, I am not a character on South Park or a comedian, so I had no business commenting on the epidemic in such a politically incorrect manner on a public platform. To put it simply, I wasn’t trying to raise awareness of AIDS, or piss off the world, or ruin my life. Living in America puts us in a bit of a bubble when it comes to what is going on in the third world. I was making fun of that bubble.”

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    Is she stupid or just a moron? Smh.

    • Mary Burrell

      @Zorino: Probably both.

  • IslandBeneathTheSea

    I hate when people say really stupid things then apologize after. If you didn’t mean it, you would never have said that dumb shit! All these so-called “gaffes” are just showing the rest of us how ignorant/privileged/racist some white people truly are!

  • mds29

    What I don’t understand is she believes she can not get the virus because she is white!!! I can not believe some people think this way. I guess we still need education on HIV/AIDS.

    • Love.tweet.joi

      A lot of races believe this.

  • disqus_6sinns1216

    I’ll never feel empathy for a white women’s “suffering” brought on herself by her own racism.

    How white people feel about _____, means nothing to me.

  • mmmdot

    So now this vicious racist white bitch who THOUGHT she was doing satire is the “victim”? I DO NOT feel sorry for white people because they have white
    privilege and REFUSE to confront it. White people HABITUALLY make it clear that they are living under the false [and SOCIOPATHIC] notion that laughing at something cruel takes the cruelty away. This goes DOUBLE for shit that doesn’t oppress THEM, like racism. It’s disgusting and sociopathic.

    Good humor punches up, at the powerful. Lazy humor relies on racist stereotypes. Whites need to do better, because many of them are CLEARLY not that fucking clever or intelligent as they THINK they are.

    They need to stop blithely make empty-headed “jokes” at the expense of other people’s bodies and lives – particularly people who have less social power, privilege, and access to platforms and financial resources than they do. It’s NEFARIOUS. “Joke” about the institutions, not about poverty stricken South Africans dying of AIDS, racist white bitch.

    • Guest

      Standing ovation.