“Justine Sacco, a PR executive who found herself at the centre of a Twitter firestorm after posting a racist “joke”, has lost her job and been forced to apologize as a result of the scandal.

The now-former director of corporate communications at media company IAC was about to board a plane to South Africa when she tweeted: “Going to Africa. Hope I don’t get AIDS. Just kidding. I’m white!”

Despite Ms Sacco only having around 200 followers, the message quickly spread to online news organizations, with social media users around the world expressing their disgust.

The irony of a supposed public relations expert tweeting such an insensitive comment, and the fact it could not be corrected during a 12-hour flight without an internet connection, meant the hashtag #HasJustineLandedYet was soon trending on the social media site.”


 A young attractive woman with a relatively important and high profile job is ruined in a few hours for a largely ironic but utterly tasteless comment to less than 200 Twitter followers. (I’m sure some of you have pets with more followers.) By the time she lands in Cape Town she has become internet famous and unemployed.


Everyone is offended by her Tweet and feels that her firing was unfortunate but deserved. As a PR exec she “should have known better.”

Yet just a few weeks earlier we had another incident involving Twitter and an airplane. Bachelor producer Elan Gale tweeted to thousands of followers about assaulting Diane, a rude woman on his pre-Thanksgiving plane, with relentless obscene sexual invective.

Screen Shot 2013-12-26 at 5.31.31 PM

This time everyone passed it around as hilarious.  There was no outrage. Thankfully it was a hoax, but I didn’t see a single comment that he should loose HIS job.

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The whole thing seems rather misogynist to me. Yes, Ms. Sacco’s comment was racist and in bad taste but Elan Gale’s was extremely sexist, in bad taste and obscene. Both became the internet sensation of the day largely due to their promotion on Buzzfeed. What seems to be the big difference is that one was a woman in a position of responsibility and the other was at the expense of woman in a position of responsibility.


~ by severalfourmany on December 22, 2013.

2 Responses to “#HasJustineLandedYet”

  1. This probably has something to do with it: “men’s implicit self-esteem is lower when a partner succeeds than when a partner fails” http://www.apa.org/pubs/journals/releases/psp-a0033769.pdf

  2. I really did not find the Elan Gale thing amusing, and I was disappointed in some of my friends who found it so. Raised some interesting questions about the right to privacy in a public space, too.

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