Alex Housden [right], a white Oklahoma City TV station anchor has tearfully apologized to her black colleague Jason Hackett [left], for comparing him to a gorilla during a broadcast last week.
An Oklahoma City TV station anchor has tearfully apologized to her black colleague on air, for comparing him to a gorilla during a broadcast last week.
KOCO-TV morning anchor Alex Housden, who is white, finished a segment Thursday about a gorilla at the Oklahoma City Zoo by comparing the animal to co-anchor Jason Hackett.
“Kind of looks like you,” she said to Hackett, who paused and responded: “He kind of does, actually, yeah.”
While seated next to Hackett the following day, a distraught-looking Housdon said she was sorry — while reaching out to touch his arm.
“I said something yesterday that was inconsiderate, it was inappropriate, and I hurt people,” Housden said. “I want you to know I understand how much I hurt you out there and how much I hurt (Hackett).”
She said she would “never do anything on purpose to hurt” him.
“I want you all to know from the bottom of my heart I apologize for what I said,” Housden said. “I know it was wrong, and I am so sorry.”
Hackett [left], accepted Housden’s apology, saying she’s one of his best friends, but made it clear that her comment hurt his feelings.
Hackett accepted Housden’s apology, saying she’s one of his best friends, but made it clear that her comment hurt his feelings.
“What she said yesterday was wrong,” Hackett said, adding that the apology was a “teachable moment” and that “words matter.”
“It cut deep for me, and it cut deep for a lot of you in the community,” he said.
“We’re becoming a more diverse country, and there’s no excuse. We have to understand the stereotypes. We have to understand each other’s backgrounds and the words that hurt, the words that cut deep,” Hackett said.
“We have to find a way to replace those words with love and words of affirmation as well.”
Clip of Housden’s thoughtless comment was shared on social media – Facebook page
The clip of Housden’s crass comment was shared on social media, where users lambasted her through her Facebook page.
“You should be fired! Your voice doesn’t belong on the news anymore. If you’re comfortable saying those kind of things on air, who knows what you say behind closed doors,” user Sonny Holloway wrote.
“The petition to have you fired is coming and your days as an anchor are numbered. #YoureNotForgiven#YoureFired.”
User Julie Wexler also called for Housden to be canned.
“Nope. You need to go. It’s 2019 and you’re comparing black men to simians? You. Need. To. Go. No tearful apology makes up for that. GO!” she wrote.