Alex Housden, who hosts the morning news show at KOCO 5 TV in Oklahoma City, sparked the outrage during a segment about a baby western lowland gorilla named Fin recording selfie videos. The initially lighthearted segment quickly turned viral after Housden said to her co-host, Jason Hackett, who is black, that Fin “kind of looks like you when you take a picture.”Video
Hackett, who briefly pauses, replied “yeah it does, actually, yeah … very close to the camera.”
The next morning, however, there were no laughs on the set. Housden and Hackett sat beside each other on a couch as Housden tearfully apologized to her colleague and to viewers over her “inappropriate” comment.
“I said something yesterday that was inconsiderate, it was inappropriate and I hurt people,” she said. “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.”
Housden described Hackett as her “best friend” and insisted that she would never “do anything on purpose to hurt” him.
Hackett accepted Housden’s apology and said the incident was a “teachable moment.”
“What she said yesterday was wrong. It cut deep for me and a lot of you in the community. The lesson here is that words matter,” he said. “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 added.
“We have to find a way to replace those words with love and words of affirmation.”