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How An Awful AIDS Joke Launched A Hashtag And Got This Woman Fired

By / 12.21.13

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Oh, white people: will you ever learn to not make Twitter jokes with the words “AIDS” and “I’m white”? Or AIDS jokes altogether. Before getting onto an airplane from London yesterday, Justine Sacco, the communications director for media conglomerate IAC, tweeted, “Going to Africa. Hope I don’t get AIDS. Just kidding. I’m white!” Naturally, this sub-Dice Man one-liner didn’t go over well, and before long, IAC commented on the situation, saying, “This is an outrageous, offensive comment that does not reflect the views and values of IAC.” But what made Justine’s story go viral was what came next: “Unfortunately, the employee in question is unreachable on an international flight.”

That’s when Twitter stepped in with #HasJustineLandedYet.

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Justine’s account has since been deleted, but her trail of casual racism remains.

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The only good thing to come out of all this: someone registered JustineSacco.com so that it redirects to the charity Aid for Africa. Oh, and yes, she landed. No word on whether her in-flight movie was Philadelphia or Rent.

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(Via Mashable, banner via Justine Sacco’s Facebook)


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