A white Oklahoma news reporter is apologizing after she said her Black co-anchor looked like a gorilla.
KOCO-TV’s morning anchor, Alex Housden, issued a tearful apology for comparing her Black co-anchor, Jason Hackett, to a gorilla during a broadcast on Thursday. KOCO-TV is located in Oklahoma City.
Housden uttered the racist comment while the two delivered a story about a gorilla at the Oklahoma City Zoo. Housden ended the segment with the comment: “Kind of looks like you,” directed at Hackett. “He kind of does, actually, yeah,” Hackett responded hesitantly.
Hackett accepted her apology the next day and explained that he wanted to use Housden’s inappropriate behavior as a teachable moment to viewers. “The lesson here is that words matter,” he said, sitting beside Housden. “We have to understand the stereotypes; we have to understand each other’s backgrounds and the words that hurt, the words that cut deep.”
Housden acknowledged that her comments were hurtful and damaging. “I hurt people. I want you to know I understand how much I hurt you out there and how much I hurt you,” she said with tears falling from her eyes.
The clip of the segment went viral after being posted to Facebook. Housden did not post her apology on the social platform; the TV station has yet to submit additional comments.
White TV anchor Alex Housden apologizes on air for saying her black KOCO TV co-anchor, Jason Hackett, looks like a gorilla at the Oklahoma City Zoo.pic.twitter.com/4N1BBs8o4K
— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) August 27, 2019