Last night Justine Sacco, a PR rep for InterActive Corp, a major media company that owns the likes of OK.cupid, Vimeo, Daily Beast, and College Humor to name a few, tweeted this stunningly off-color "joke" before embarking on a flight to Africa:
Naturally it didn't take long for Twitter to react, but the response exploded when IAC quickly reached out to Sam Biddle, who originally posted the Tweet at ValleyWag, with this statement: "This is an outrageous, offensive comment that does not reflect the views and values of IAC. Unfortunately, the employee in question is unreachable on an international flight, but this is a very serious matter and we are taking appropriate action.”
From that point through the rest of the night the virtual pitchforks came out with people tweeting with the hashtag #HasJustineLandedYet, and literally thousands of people waiting in universal anticipation for Sacco to touch down and receive her comeuppance while she likely napped on her flight completely unaware of the hellstorm waiting for her. Google even jumped into the fray and put up a real-time flight tracker.
Pretty sure America hasn't watched a landing this closely since Apollo 13 re-entered was landing on Earth in 1970. #HasJustineLandedYet— NYC Doorman (@NYDoorman) December 21, 2013
Seriously curious whether CNN will go live to airport when #HasJustineLandedYet lands? I could see them doing so. Don't endorse. But...— Joe Adalian (@TVMoJoe) December 21, 2013
#HasJustineLandedYet People haven't eagerly anticipated a plane landing this much since Amelia Earhart.— I'm Gary (@noyokono) December 21, 2013
It's currently unclear if she's been fired, but IAC has completely removed her from their website. Of course, she's since deleted her Twitter account, but not before issuing a perfunctory apology and removing her work information from her bio, which previously read: "CorpComms at IAC. Troublemaker on the side. Also known for my loud laugh." Deleting the account makes sense—several previous tweets written with the same twisted sense of "humor" were unearthed, like "I had a sex dream about an autistic kid last night. #fml." There's also this gem, amazing for its ironic foreshadowing: "I can't be fired for things I say while intoxicated, right?" Yes, Ms. Sacco, you can. It's basically 2014 and yet, that lesson still hasn't been universally learned.