News Anchor Apologizes After Comparing Black Co-Anchor To Gorilla
A morning news anchor has apologized to her Black co-anchor after comparing him to a gorilla.
“During a morning broadcast on Oklahoma’s KOCO-TV, an ABC affiliate, Alex Housden was reporting on gorillas at the local zoo. While doing so, Housden told her co-anchor, Jason Hackett, a Black man, it ‘kind of looks like you.’ Hackett responded, ‘He kind of does, actually, yeah,’” Deadline reported.
The incident offended many viewers as comparing Black people to primates smacks of racism.
The following day after the broadcast, Housden issued a tearful apology to Hackett as he sat by her side. “I’m here this morning because I want to apologize, not only to my co-anchor Jason but to our entire community,” she said. “I said something yesterday that was inconsiderate, that was inappropriate, and I hurt people. And I want you to understand how much I hurt you out there and how much I hurt you.”
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Housden noted that the two are not only co-anchors but friends and she added “would never do anything on purpose to hurt you. I love our community, and I want you all to know from the bottom of my heart: I apologize for what I said. I know it was wrong, and I am so sorry.”
Hackett accepted her apology and insisted Housden is one of his best friends. “What she said yesterday was wrong,” he said. “It cut deep for me, and it cut deep for a lot of you in the community.”
He added, “Coming out of this, I want this to be a teachable moment. The lesson here is that words matter.”
“We have to understand the stereotypes,” Hackett said. “We have to understand each other’s backgrounds and the words that hurt, the words that cut deep. We have to find a way to replace those words with love and words of affirmation, as well.”
Video of the initial incident went viral on social media.