A white US TV anchor has apologised after saying her black co-host looked liked a gorilla live on air.
Alex Housden, a presenter of the KOCO-5 morning news programme in Oklahoma, made the comment to her colleague Jason Hackett as the show played a clip of a baby gorilla, saying the animal “kind of looks like you”.
She was visibly upset as she apologised for the comment the following day, with Mr Hackett sat next to her.
“I said something yesterday that was inconsiderate, it was inappropriate, and I hurt people,” Ms Housden said, adding that she understood she had hurt people “out there” as well as Mr Hackett, who she described as one of her best friends.
Ms Housden had made the remark as the pair introduced a segment on the programme about an ape caretaker who had taken over the social media accounts of Oklahoma City Zoo.
Mr Hackett told Ms Housden that he accepted her apology and considered her a good friend, 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.
“We have to find a way to replace those words with love and words of affirmation as well.”
But Mr Hackett’s acceptance of Ms Housden’s apology has done little to stop viewers airing their frustration.
Some have called for Ms Housden to be fired from her job at the TV station.
The stereotype of comparing black people to monkeys and apes has made headlines several times in recent years.
In 2016, the mayor of a town in West Virginia, US, commented approvingly on a post on Facebook which compared former first lady Michelle Obama to an “ape in heels”.
Earlier this year, radio presenter Danny Baker was sacked by BBC Radio 5 Live after posting a black and white photo of a man and woman holding hands with a suited chimpanzee after the Duchess of Sussex gave birth.
The slur was also used in 1971 by former US president Ronald Reagan in a phone conversation unearthed between himself and former president Richard Nixon.
“To see those, those monkeys from those African countries – damn them, they’re still uncomfortable wearing shoes,” Mr Reagan said.
Source: SKY NEWS