A black TV host is speaking out after his white co-anchor compared him to a gorilla during a live broadcast last week.
"Kind of looks like you," Housden said as the segment came to a close.
Hackett pauses for a second, then responds: "Yeah, kind of does, actually, yeah."
Housden, who immediately sparked outrage on social media, apologized for her comments on air the following day. Sitting next to Hackett on a couch, she tearfully told her co-cost she would "never do anything on purpose to hurt" him.
"I said something yesterday that was inconsiderate, it was inappropriate, and I hurt people," Housden said. "I want you to know I understand how much I hurt you out there and how much I hurt [Hackett]."
Hackett accepted the apology, calling Housden one of his best friends and referring to the controversy as a "teachable moment."
"We’re becoming a more diverse country, and there’s 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 said during Friday's segment. "We have to find a way to replace those words with love and words of affirmation as well."
The news anchor also said that while he and Housden had moved on, he did find her comments hurtful.
"What she said yesterday was wrong," Hackett said. "It cut deep for me, and it cut deep for a lot of you in the community."
Still, some viewers were not satisfied with Housden's apology, with many taking to social media this week with calls for her to be fired.
LET'S WAVE PEOPLE! Call (405)478-3000. And DEMAND ALEX HOUSDEN BE TERMINATED FOR SAYING JASON HACKETT LOOKS LIKE A GORILLA ON THE NEWS SHOW! TIME TO SHOW OUT AGAINST RACISTS!! pic.twitter.com/mh36vQzdFa
— Yvette Thomas (@YvetteT14439725) August 26, 2019
Imagine coming into work and your co-worker tells you that you look like an ape on National TV SMH....I can't make this up! @alexhousden_ should be ashamed of herself for that remark. @koconews obviously felt it was ok bc she's back on air...wow! pic.twitter.com/Q7JLQxU97v
— El Crumb (@Coppinalltheyzy) August 27, 2019
Microagressive behavior masquerading as jokes just don't work anymore. This is 2019.
“HEY FOLKS! KOCO 5. HAS ALLOWED ALEX HOUSDEN BACK ON TV. I PHONED MANAGEMENT. THEY SAID IT WAS THEIR DECISION TO ALLOW HER TO KEEP HER JOB! If you do not agree with... https://t.co/WVhGvDPqT0
— C. Alease Smith, Ed.D. (@CAleaseWriter) August 27, 2019
"Imagine coming into work and your co-worker tells you that you look like an ape on National TV SMH....I can't make this up!" one Twitter user said.