BREAKING: Justine Sacco Has ‘Really Suffered’ Since AIDS Tweet


We at PRNewser often use the breaking news line as a joke, but this “no kidding” moment is really “news.”

Remember the unfortunate tweet above?

Justine Sacco, former chief communications officer of IAC (parent company of Tinder, Vimeo and OkCupid), prepared for a trip to Africa with some kitschy AIDS humor and lost her job as a result. Sure, she apologized and ended up back on the job market, but it’s safe to say her life changed.

Now she’s back…to help kick off a book tour.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Sacco has decided to bare her heart to the world at large.

Why? She’s being featured by Jon Ronson in a book entitled So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed. Her testimony:

“It was incredibly traumatic. You don’t sleep. You wake up in the middle of the night forgetting where you are. All of a sudden, you don’t know what you’re supposed to do.”

Has anyone else lost a job and found him/herself completely unprepared for what happens next? We have, and the words “traumatic, sleeplessness, forgetfulness, and fear” apply.

Justine-Sacco-sorryIt’s like you tell your kids: “Apologize because you know it was wrong and you understand the pain it caused, not because you got caught.”

Sacco got caught and lost her job as a direct result, even though (as she told Gawker’s Sam Biddle, the very man who brought her infamy) she assumed everyone would know that her message was too tone-deaf to be anything but a lame joke. Many are those who have had to learn this lesson the hard way on the Internet of ours…

Still, Ronson, author of The Psychopath Test and The Men Who Stare at Goats, doesn’t seem to focus on the main point: as a PR veteran, she probably should have known better.

Sacco continues:

“I’m thirty years old. I had a great career. If I don’t have a plan, if I don’t start making steps to reclaim my identity and remind myself of who I am on a daily basis, then I might lose myself. I’m single. So it’s not like I can date, because we google everyone we might date. So that’s been taken away from me too. How am I going to meet people? What are they going to think of me?”

Everyone deserves at least one mulligan, and in the spirit of the season we hope that this is Justine Sacco’s…even though the book tour itself is just another call for publicity. Maybe she can teach the world something about letting go.

Publish date: December 23, 2014 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT