Oklahoma City News Anchor Apologizes for Comparing Black Colleague to Gorilla Live on Air (Video)

“I said something yesterday that was inconsiderate. It was inappropriate and I hurt people,” said Alex Housden

A local news anchor in Oklahoma City apologized Friday for telling a black colleague he looked like a gorilla during a live broadcast.

On Thursday at the end of a segment on a gorilla at the Oklahoma City zoo, KOCO morning anchor Alex Housden told her on-air colleague James Hackett that the gorilla “Kind of looks like you.” In the moment, a clearly uncomfortable Hackett hesitatingly agreed as the episode ended.

The next day, Housden apologized for the comment, addressing both Hackett and “our entire community.”

“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,” she continued, adding that Hackett has been “one of my best friends over the past year and a half, and I would never do anything on purpose to hurt you.”

“I love our community and I want you all to know, from the bottom of my heart, I apologize for what I said. I know it was wrong,” she concluded.

Hackett said he accepted and appreciated her apology, and addressing the audience directly called Housden “one of my best friends.”

But, he added, “all that being said, what she said yesterday was wrong. It cut deep for me, and it cut deep for others in our community.”

Saying he hoped this would be “a teachable moment and that “the lesson here is that words matter,” Hackett continued, saying that the country is becoming “more diverse,” and that “there’s no excuse. We have to understand the stereotypes. We have to understand each other’s backgrounds, the words that hurt, the words that cut deep. We have to find a way to replace those words with love.”

Hackett concluded by saying that as anchors, “words are the tools of our trade, we use those words the way a plumber would use a wrench or a doctor would use a scalpel… What we need to do is use those words not to hurt and not to divide, but to build a more perfect union. This is going to be a journey. We’re learning things here, and we at KOCO 5 hope that you join us on this journey.”

11 Accounts of Overt Racism From 'Day 1 in Trump's America' (Photos)

  • A Twitter moment titled “Day 1 in Trump’s America” slates itself as a collection of tweets about “racist episodes POC [people of color] are facing now that Trump is our President-elect.” Here are some of those stories.

    These are unfiltered stories people shared, not confirmed by law enforcement or TheWrap. (One false report on Wednesday hurt everyone by giving ammunition to people inclined to deny all accounts of racist attacks.)

    Content warning: These are not fun stories, and some contain racial slurs.

  • “I have a scarf on. Passed by someone on the platform today and he says, ‘Your time’s up, girlie.'” – Mehreen Kasana

    Twitter

  • “Today, I was harassed by an older white man who presumed I was Mexican. ‘I can’t wait until Trump asks us to rape your people and send you back over the biggest damn wall we’re going to build. Go back to hell, wet back.’ After saying all of that, he threw the water in his cup in my face, gave me the middle finger, and ran off. It took every fiber of my being to hold my tongue and not chase him down. I’m in tears right now. I’ve never been terrified of being a woman and a minority until today.” – Rhio Oracion

    Facebook

  • “I WAS finally coming to grips with the stupidity of America. But then some off the wall stuff happened that pissed me right back off.
    So I am downtown and a group of white dudes are looking at a woman wearing a dress standing alone minding her business. We all get on the subway. When she walks past the group, one of the men yells grab her by the pussy. One of the dudes literally then tried to touch the woman inappropriately. The woman yelled and the guys laughed. A group of people and I literally threw the 3 dudes off the subway at the Wood Street. America is really thinking this shit is a joke.” – Antwan Legacy Carter

    Facebook

  • “Black lives don’t matter and neither does your votes,” was seen spray painted in Durham, NC.

    Twitter

  • Chris Weatherd found his car vandalized with racial epithets. See the full video here. 

    Twitter

  • A woman walked into her dorm room to find that her roommate had built a makeshift “wall” to separate their two sides. There was a note that read “Hey Maria, Trump won so… here’s a little preview of what’s to come.” 

    Twitter

  • “Can’t wait until your ‘marriage’ is overturned by a real president. Gay families = burn in hell. Trump 2016,” photo tweeted by Shaun King. 

    Twitter

  • “Went for a run this morning at 7a. I’ve been trying to figure out how I feel. CHILDREN high school age screamed at me and told me to go back to AFRICA. CHILDREN people! I’m not throwing a temper tantrum you don’t know how it feels to be me if you don’t GET how enraged and sad I am right now,” tweeted by the woman’s friend. 

    Twitter

  • A woman recounts her story of being harassed at a gas station by four white men. One walked over to her and asked: “How scared are you, you black b—-? I should just kill you right now, you’re a waste of air,” and another guy flashed his firearm at her. 

    Read the full story here. 

    Facebook

  • A man was followed into a 7-11 by a group of white men asking if he spoke English. They told him “chinks should get out of the country,” harassed the 7-Eleven clerk and yelled “white power” on their way out.

    Read the full story here. 

    Twitter

  • “My first racist encounter after our new joke of a president, as I am at Walmart today a woman came up to me and pulled my hijab of [sic] and said ‘this is not allowed anymore, so go hang yourself with it around your neck not on your head.’ I am traumatized.” – Maha Abdul Gawad

     

    Facebook

One woman said she had her hijab pulled off and a black man posted a picture of his car covered with racial slurs

A Twitter moment titled “Day 1 in Trump’s America” slates itself as a collection of tweets about “racist episodes POC [people of color] are facing now that Trump is our President-elect.” Here are some of those stories.

These are unfiltered stories people shared, not confirmed by law enforcement or TheWrap. (One false report on Wednesday hurt everyone by giving ammunition to people inclined to deny all accounts of racist attacks.)

Content warning: These are not fun stories, and some contain racial slurs.

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