The presenter Alex Housden of the channel KOCO TV in Oklahoma apologized tearfully with his co- host Jason Hacket after comparing the African American with a gorilla in the middle of the television show. The incident, which has caused much outrage, occurred last Thursday, when Housden was presenting a story about a baby gorilla at the Oklahoma City Zoo. Just before she was off the air for a commercial break, Housden said to her African American colleague, "She looks like you when you take a picture of yourself," referring to the ape. Hacket's discomfort was evident from her pause after the comment.
Viewers showed their discontent by calling the television station to complain and expressing outrage on Facebook, saying Housden's comment was racist.
At the next show, Housden apologized to his co-host and to the audience. The presenter started crying and said, "I'm here this morning because I want to apologize, not just to my co-host Jason, but to our entire community." Tearfully, the white communicator continued: “I said something yesterday that was inconsiderate, inappropriate, and hurt people. I want you to know that I understand how much I hurt them and how much I hurt you.”
Hacket accepted her apology, saying he had a friendship with the presenter off set and there was mutual affection between colleagues. However, he reiterated: “What she said yesterday was incorrect. It deeply hurt me, and it also deeply hurt many of you in the community.” The presenter added that this should be a lesson so that moments like that are not repeated, emphasizing that words should be used to unite and not to divide. “We have to understand stereotypes, we have to understand people's backgrounds and the words that hurt them. We have to find a way to replace them with words of love and affirmation."
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