Black news anchor is compared to a gorilla on live TV by colleague
We've all experienced that feeling of watching something so cringeworthy and so inappropriate on a live television show, that time appeared to slow down and as you witness a metaphoric car crash play out in front of your eyes. Well, that's exactly how I felt watching this news segment.
A white news anchor has been forced to issue an apology after coming under fire for comparing her black co-anchor to a gorilla.
While reporting on a segment about a gorilla at the Oklahoma City Zoo, KOCO 5 News anchor Alex Housden told her black co-anchor Jason Hackett, that the creature "kinda looks like you".
This is the painful moment Housden really did not think about what she was saying:
A presumably flustered but totally professional Hackett then responds with: "He kind of does, actually, yeah". However, this was not enough to save Housden from the backlash that was snowballing online.
With many Twitter users calling for Housden to be fired for her comment, the next day she provided a tearful apology to Hackett, as he also took the opportunity to share some inspiring advice surrounding race and stereotypes in the community.
What do you make of Housden's emotional apology?
Taking her "friend's" hand, Housden said:
"I’m here this morning because I want to apologize; not only to my co-anchor Jason, but to our entire community. I said something yesterday that was inconsiderate, it was inappropriate, and I hurt people."
After letting his colleague continue, Hackett did appear to accept Housden's apology, but added that her words "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, there’s no doubt about that.
"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. We have to find a way to replace those words with love and words of affirmation as well."
However, many online have labeled Housden's apology as "lame", and are still calling for the presenter to be fired by the news station:
It is certainly going to be interesting to see how the news station handles this backlash, but Housden's choice of words serve as yet another reminder that there is still a lot of ignorance in society when it comes to race.