A white Oklahoma City news anchor found herself in hot water after making a racist comment about her Black colleague comparing him to an ape on-air.
Alex Housden, an anchor with KOCO News, was doing a segment about a gorilla at the Oklahoma City Zoo with her Black morning news anchor Jason Hackett last Thursday when she quipped, “Kind of looks like you.”
Hackett, who was probably rattled by the comment went along with it and responded: “He kind of does, actually, yeah.”
But the internet wasn’t having it.
One viewer made mention of the shocking moment caught on live TV and shared a clip which has garnered more than 100,000 views and quickly went viral, Insider reports.
How is this “ok” today?
It’s gotta be more than “words matter.” @cocoalex’s comment is unacceptable. More than an apology is needed. Alex, what are you going to do in this teaching moment to educate others abt racism and bring community together? https://t.co/IuiJd7EsgG
— Sarah Glover (@sarah4nabj) August 27, 2019
After getting hit with a barrage of criticism, Housden apologized to Hackett on air.
“It was inappropriate, and I hurt people,” she said. “I want you to know I understand how much I hurt you out there and how much I hurt [Hackett],” she said.
Housden also said she would “never do anything on purpose to hurt Hackett.”
Hackett also said there was a lesson and “teachable moment.”
“We’re becoming a more diverse country, and there’s no excuse,” Hackett said. “We have to understand the stereotypes. 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.”