Oklahoma anchor apologizes for comparing her black co-anchor to a ‘gorilla’
By Matt Collins Article may include affiliate links
An Oklahoma City anchor who got into hot water after she compared to her black co-anchor to a “gorilla” on air has issued a tearful on air apology.
The whole thing started innocently enough — with brief story about a gorilla at a local zoo who was captured taking selfies.
Coming back on camera KOCO anchor Alex Housden, who is white, told her co-anchor, Jason Hackett, that he resembled a gorilla.
“Kind of looks like you,” she said in what appears to be an off-the-cuff remark.
At the time, Hackett responded by laughing it off and saying “it kind of does, actually.”
However, other people weren’t laughing.
The video wounded up going viral and sparking outrage.
The next day, Housden issued an apology on air to Hackett and viewers.
“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, it was inappropriate and I hurt people. And I want you to know I understand how much I hurt you out there and how much I hurt you,” she continued in tears.
She noted she considers Hackett one of her best friends.
Hackett responded by saying he appreciated and accepted her apology.
“It cut deep for me and it cut deep for a lot of you in the community,” he said on air, noting that the incident is a teachable moment for everyone.
“The lesson here is that words matter. We’re becoming a more diverse country,” he said.
We have to understand the stereotypes and each other’s backgrounds and the words that hurt, the words that cut deep. And we have to find a way to replace those words with love and words of affirmation as well,” he added.
The station declined to offer additional statements about the incident.