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Presenter apologises for comparing black co-host to gorilla

APOLOGY: Jason Hackett with his co-host Alex Housden (Image: Screengrab/YouTube)

A WHITE news presenter has apologised for being “inconsiderate and inappropriate” after she compared her black colleague to a gorilla live on TV.

Alex Housden, a US TV anchor on KOCO-5’s morning news programme, told her black co-host Jason Hackett “kind of looks like you” as a clip of a baby gorilla appeared on screen.

After receiving considerable backlash from the general public, Housden apologised.

"I said something yesterday that was inconsiderate, it was inappropriate, and I hurt people," she said before describing Hackett as one of her best friends.

Hackett accepted her apology, but said he wanted the incident to be a "teachable moment" and that "words matter”.

"We have to understand the stereotypes, we have to understand each other's background and the words that hurt, the words that cut deep," he said.

He added: "We have to find a way to replace those words with love and words of affirmation as well."

Housden said Hackett looked like the gorilla as the pair showed a segment on an ape caretaker who had taken over Oklahoma City Zoo’s social media accounts.

Viewers of the news programme remain unamused by Housden’s comment, which evoked racist stereotypes, and have called for her to be fired.

Twitter user @PharoahBeatz tweeted: “News anchor Alex Housden gets to tell her co-worker Jason Hackett he looks like a gorilla on live news and keep her job? Wow that’s absurd to say the least #KOCO5”

Another Twitter user, @PamelaMissokc30, said: “@koconews you guys over their need to do the right thing and fire Alex Housden. She has truly been exposed for what she is, that racist commentary should have happened she needs to GO!!!”

Others also said that Housden had only delivered an emotional apology as she feared losing her job.

“Alex Housden cried because her job is in jeopardy. She's old enough to know better than to compare a black person to a monkey. Her apology is disingenuous. And the only thing worse is Jason Hackett had to sit there and ‘accept’ it,” one commenter wrote on Twitter.

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