TV anchor apologizes to black co-anchor for joking that he looked like a gorilla


In a tearful segment that aired on Oklahoma City’s KOCO-TV, morning anchor Alex Housden apologized to her co-anchor Jason Hackett, a black man, after comparing him to a gorilla during a broadcast Thursday.

The comment occurred after the pair reported on a story about a gorilla at the Oklahoma City Zoo.

Housden ended the segment with the joking comment: “Kind of looks like you,” directed at Hackett.

“He kind of does, actually, yeah,” Hackett hesitantly responded.

They were joking around the entire segment, who knows what she was thinking. Her co-anchor doesn’t look like the gorilla. It’s doubtful she thinks so, really.


The following day, Hackett, who is African American, accepted her apology and said he wanted to take the experience as a teachable moment to his viewers.

She’s definitely sorry, and he generously accepted her apology.

“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 called the comment inconsiderate and inappropriate. She said she knows it was wrong and that she would never intentionally hurt her colleague.

“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 tearfully turning to her co-anchor.

If they were in New York, she would have been pilloried. Her career would have been over.


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