A white Oklahoma City news anchor cued the waterworks during an emotional apology to her Black colleague whom she likened to a gorilla during a live broadcast last week.
KOCO-TV morning anchor Alex Housden wrapped up a segment on a curious gorilla at the Oklahoma City Zoo last Thursday by comparing the primate to her co-anchor Jason Hackett.
“Kind of looks like you,” she told Hackett with a giggle, to which her colleague awkwardly responded: “He kind of does, actually, yeah.”
The following day, a misty-eyed Housden sat alongside her colleague and apologized for what she had said, describing Hackett as “one of her best friends” who she would never intentionally hurt.
“I said something yesterday that was inconsiderate, it was inappropriate and I hurt people,” she said, placing a hand on her co-anchor. “And I want you to know I understand how much I hurt you out there — how much I hurt you (Jason).”
Housden continued: “I want you all to know from the bottom of my heart I apologize for what I said. I know it was wrong, and I am so sorry.”
Hackett said he accepted Housden’s apology and affirmed their strong friendship. However, he made it abundantly clear that her words “cut deep for me.”
“What you said yesterday was wrong,” he began. “Coming out of this, I want this to be a teachable moment. And that lesson here is that words matter. There’s no doubt about that.”
Hackett pointed to the changing demographics of the country and argued that there’s “no excuse” for such ignorance.
“We have to understand each other’s backgrounds and the words that hurt, the words that cut deep,” he said, addressing Housden and the stations viewers. “We have to find a way to replace those words with love and words of affirmation as well.”
The clip of Housden’s racist remark was shared on social media, where critics nailed her to the wall and demanded she lose her job. Her tearful apology didn’t garner much sympathy either.
“I think she needs to be fired!” one social media user argued. “‘Cause if he (Hackett) would’ve compared her to some unseason chicken his ass would be out of a job and facing jail time.”
“Must be nice to be able to activate “white woman tears” to get yourself out of trouble🤔🤦🏽♀️, ” another opined. “He def let her off the hook too easily🙄.”
“Cry me a river, fake ass crocodile tears,” another chimed in.
One critic said Housden was “waaay to comfortable” making such a remark and was only sorry after the fact. Meanwhile, others turned their anger to Hackett for initially going along with his colleague’s “joke.”
“[The] worse part is it didn’t even bother him until it bothered his ‘community,’ ” one user wrote.
Another agreed, writing: “He’s defending her. Whew Chile… the brainwashed!”
Watch more in the video below.