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Oklahoma TV anchor apologizes for comparing co-anchor to a gorilla

The comparison is similar to the one that got "Roseanne" taken off the air last year.
/ Source: TODAY

An Oklahoma City morning news anchor has apologized to her co-anchor for comparing him to a gorilla following a recent segment on the show.

KOCO 5 morning anchor Alex Housden said at the end of a segment about a gorilla at the Oklahoma City Zoo that "he kind of looks like you," referring to her co-anchor Jason Hackett.

After a brief pause, Hackett replied, "He kind of does, actually, yeah."

Housden apologized tearfully the next day on camera while sitting next to Hackett.

"I said something yesterday that was inconsiderate, it was inappropriate, and I hurt people," she said. "I want you to know I understand how much I hurt you out there and how much I hurt (Hackett) ... 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."

Hackett accepted her apology and noted that Housden "is one of my best friends."

But he added, "What she said yesterday was wrong. It cut deep for me, and it cut deep for a lot of you in the community ... Coming out of this, I want this to be a teachable moment. And that lesson here is that words matter ... 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. And we have to find a way to replace those words with love and words of affirmation as well."

The gaffe echoes the statement Roseanne Barr tweeted in 2018, which said Valerie Jarrett, a former senior adviser to President Obama, was the offspring of the "Muslim Brotherhood & 'Planet of the Apes.'" Barr's show, "Roseanne," was taken off the air shortly after the statement (which was later deleted) was posted.

KOCO 5, an ABC affiliate, said in a statement to NBC News,"The apology by Alex and Jason’s acceptance and his comments about the broader issue are the only public comment necessary."