Oklahoma City news anchor Alex Housden attracted national attention when she committed a huge racist blunder by comparing her black co-anchor Jason Hackett on-air to a gorilla.
A segment about a gorilla at the Oklahoma City zoo began rolling on camera. The gorilla started to poke its head up at the camera. “This is Fin. He’s a resident at the Oklahoma City Zoo and this week the zoo’s ape caretaker took over their Instagram and we are all loving that they did,” Housden told the audience at home. “Now as you can see, Fin was fascinated by the camera,” said the KOCO anchor Housden.
“Definitely ready for his close up,” Hackett replied.
“He kinda looks like you,” Housden joked. Hackett awkwardly laughed and agreed.
Housden issued a tearful on-air apology the next day after realizing the effects of her joke. Many had taken to Twitter calling for her to be fired.
“I said something yesterday that was inconsiderate, that was inappropriate, and I hurt people,” began Housden. “I hurt people. I want you to know I understand how much I hurt you out there and how much I hurt you. I’m just humiliated,” she continued, before emphasizing her deep friendship with Hackett.
Hackett accepted her apology, saying that he loves Housden as a friend as well.
“The lesson here is that words matter,” he 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.”
KOCO has not commented or taken any action on the situation.
Have a tip we should know? firstname.lastname@example.org