A communications director who posted an offensive tweet about AIDS and Africa has been fired. Justine Sacco, formerly a PR executive for InterActive Corp., parent company of and Vimeo, says that she is “ashamed” for her insensitivity to those living with the virus.

Sacco’s tweet, which read: “Going to Africa. Hope I don’t get AIDS. Just kidding. I’m white!”,¬†immediately went viral after readers, bloggers and other media discovered the insensitive comments.¬†

From ABC News:

After sending her statement to South African newspaper The Star, Sacco shared the following apology:

“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,” Sacco said. “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. […]¬†“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.”

Read more at ABC News

In response to the tweet, a fake Facebook account under Sacco’s name was created, with a post linking to appears. The site redirects visitors to a donation page for Aid for Africa.

Should Sacco have been fired?

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