An American weatherman has been fired after allegedly using an offensive racial slur during a live broadcast.
Jeremy Kappell (main photo) of NBC’s WHEC-TV was reporting on the weather from Martin Luther King Memorial Park in Rochester in New York State when he apparently said: “Martin Luther c**n King Junior.”
Listen to the (admittedly rather grainy) reporting here.
Kappell denies using the slur and claimed he’d simply mangled his sentence.
In a Facebook post following his dismissal, Kappell said: “What happened on Friday, to me, it’s a simple misunderstanding. If you watch me regularly you know I tend to contain a lot of information in my weathercast, which forces me to speak fast.
“Unfortunately I spoke a little too fast when I was referencing Dr Martin Luther King Jr. So fast to the point where I jumbled a couple of little words. I’m my mind I knew I mispronounced but there was no malice nothing that I could’ve… I had no idea the way it came across to many people.”
However, WHEC-TV bosses were having none of it and promptly gave Kappell his marching orders.
Station vice president and general manager Richard A Reingold said: “These words have no place on News10NBC’s air, and the fact that we broadcast them disheartens and disgusts me; that it was not caught immediately is inexcusable. I regret that we did not immediately interrupt our broadcast and apologise on the spot.”
Yet, Kappel is not without his supporters, with many agreeing it was simply a slip of the tongue rather than anything racist. There are now calls for the weatherman to be reinstated, with 2000-plus people signing a petition calling on the network to give him his job back.
Check out some of the social media support below: