News anchor apologises after comparing black colleague to ape

WASHINGTON (AFP) – A television news anchorwoman in the United States (US) apologised on-air after comparing her black colleague to a gorilla, NBC News reported Tuesday.

Alex Housden of KOCO 5 News in Oklahoma City made the remark last Thursday during a segment on an ape whose handler was running the local zoo’s Instagram for the day.

When a video of a baby gorilla appeared on screen, Housden, who is white, turned to her black co-anchor, Jason Hackett, and said that the ape “kind of looks like you,” NBC reported.

The following day, a tearful Housden apologised to Hackett, saying: “I said something yesterday that was inconsiderate, it was inappropriate, and I hurt people.

“I want you all to know from the bottom of my heart, I apologise for what I said. I know it was wrong and I am so sorry.”

Hackett accepted her apology, but acknowledged that the words “cut deep for me.”

“I want this to be a teachable moment and that the lesson here is that words, words matter,” he said. “There’s no doubt about that.”