In a huge “what the heck” moment, a local morning TV anchor called her black co-host a “gorilla” on live TV. The incident took place in Oklahoma, during a segment on the Oklahoma City Zoo. Soon after a picture of a gorilla appeared on screen, you can hear Alex Houdsen say, “kind of looks like you,” to her African American co-host, Jason Hackett.
Viewers must’ve been shocked.
The following day Houdsen addressed her hurtful comments during an on-air tearful apology.
Houdsen spoke about what she called “hurtful comments,” and told the viewing audience, “I said something yesterday that was inconsiderate, it was inappropriate, and I hurt people.”
Houdsen went on to tell her co-host, ”I want you to know, I understand how much I hurt you out there and how much I've hurt you. I love you so much, and you have been one of my best friends for the past year and a half. And I would never do anything on purpose to hurt you. And 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 and I am so sorry."
However, one thing Housden did not address was the “racist implications” of comparing an African American to an ape.
You’ll recall that actress Roseanne Barr was fired by ABC after she compared former Obama top-aide, Valerie Jarrett to an ape during a Twitter spat.
However, this incident didn’t end in such dramatic fashion. Jason Hackett accepted Housden’s apology on-air, and acknowledged the pain it caused. "It cut deep for me and it cut deep for a lot of you in the community," he said.