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Was It Racism or a Slip of the Tongue? Weatherman’s Firing Over Alleged Racial Slur Sparks Controversy

Jan 8, 2019  •  Post A Comment

The chief meteorologist at an NBC TV station was fired Monday after saying something on the air that has been interpreted as a racial slur. The New York Post reports that Jeremy Kappell of WHEC-TV in Rochester, N.Y. got the boot after the words “Martin Luther C–n King Jr.” went out over the air.

Here’s an audio tape in which a portion of the broadcast can be heard — the sound has been enhanced to make the phrase more audible, and the phrase is repeated several times. The tape also includes some of the station’s reporting on the incident …

Following an internal investigation, WHEC Vice President and general manager Richard A. Reingold said: “As a result of that broadcast meteorologist Jeremy Kappell is no longer with News10NBC. 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 apologize on the spot.”

Kappell later posted a videotaped apology online, which you can see below. In it he reassures his followers that it was not his intent to make a racial comment and that the extra word in King’s name was merely a result of becoming tongue-tied.

Here’s Kappell’s apology video …

Other television personalities have run into similar problems. In an incident from 2010, ESPN’s Mike Greenberg made the same mistake made by Kappell, but wound up keeping his job. Here’s the tape of that incident …

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