It’s the awkward gaffe that has turned into a viral story.
Alex Housden, morning anchor for KOCO-TV, compared her co-anchor – Jason Hackett – to a young gorilla at the Oklahoma City Zoo.
Housden casually told Hackett that the primate “kind of looks like you.” To which her co-anchor quickly responded “he kind of does, actually yeah.”
But after a public backlash the Oklahoma City news anchor apologized to her black co-host on Friday.
Housden tearfully apologized to “one of my best friends for the past year and a half.”
“I’m here this morning because I want to apologize, not only to my coworker Jason, but to our entire community,” she said during the Friday segment.
“I said something yesterday that was inconsiderate, it was inappropriate and I hurt people.”
“I want you to know I understand how much I hurt you all out there and how much I hurt you. I would never do anything on purpose to hurt you,” she added.
The emotional anchor stressed that she loved her community and apologized from the bottom of her heart.
Hackett graciously accepted his co-host’s apology and affirmed that the two had a fantastic relationship.
“What she said yesterday was wrong” he said in response. “It cut deep for me and a lot of you in the community.”
“The lesson here is that words matter. We are becoming a more diverse country and there is 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,” he continued.
“We have to find a way to replace those words with love and words of affirmation.”