Black TV anchor speaks out after co-host compares him to a gorilla: 'There's no excuse'

A black TV host is speaking out after his white co-anchor compared him to a gorilla during a live broadcast last week. 

Jason Hackett, an anchor for Oklahoma's KOCO-TV, was reporting on a story about a gorilla at the Oklahoma City Zoo when his co-host, Alex Housden made the controversial comments. 

"Kind of looks like you," Housden said as the segment came to a close

Hackett pauses for a second, then responds: "Yeah, kind of does, actually, yeah."

Housden, who immediately sparked outrage on social media, apologized for her comments on air the following day. Sitting next to Hackett on a couch, she tearfully told her co-cost she would "never do anything on purpose to hurt" him.

"I said something yesterday that was inconsiderate, it was inappropriate, and I hurt people," Housden said. "I want you to know I understand how much I hurt you out there and how much I hurt [Hackett]."

Hackett accepted the apology, calling Housden one of his best friends and referring to the controversy as a "teachable moment."

"We’re becoming a more diverse country, and there’s 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 said during Friday's segment. "We have to find a way to replace those words with love and words of affirmation as well."

The news anchor also said that while he and Housden had moved on, he did find her comments hurtful. 

"What she said yesterday was wrong," Hackett said. "It cut deep for me, and it cut deep for a lot of you in the community."

Still, some viewers were not satisfied with Housden's apology, with many taking to social media this week with calls for her to be fired.

 

"Imagine coming into work and your co-worker tells you that you look like an ape on National TV SMH....I can't make this up!" one Twitter user said

As of Tuesday morning, neither Hackett nor Housden had released any further comments on the incident. Housden has not posted anything to her professional Facebook page since making the comments. 

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