Jeremy Kappell, a meteorologist at a Rochester, New York television station, was fired on Sunday after allegedly using a racial slur during a broadcast.
According to The Hill, Kappell was let go by WHEC because he allegedly said “Martin Luther C**n” during the Friday evening broadcast when referening a local park named after civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.
The meteorologist claimed that he misspoke as a result of speaking “too fast.”
“What happened on Friday, to me, it’s a simple misunderstanding,” Kappell said in a Facebook video posted on Monday. “If you watch me regularly, you know that I tend to contain a lot of information in my weathercast, which forces me to speak fast and, 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 words.”
He continued, “In my mind, I knew I mispronounced, but there was no malice. . . . I had no idea the way it came across to many people.”
The usage of the racial epithet caused a stir on social media and in the Rochester community. As a result, Richard A. Reingold, the vice president and general manager of WHEC, announced that Kappell had been fired.
“As a result of that broadcast, meteorologist Jeremy Kappell is no longer with News10NBC,” Reingold said in a statement. “We believe strongly in holding our reporters and anchors to the highest standard.”
Kappell apologized for offending anyone but made it clear the slur is not what he said.
“I had no idea what some people could have interpreted that as and I know some people did interpret that the wrong way,” he said in conclusion. “That was not a word I said, I promise you that. If you did feel that it hurt you in any way, I sincerely apologize.”
What's Your Reaction?
Christina Santi is a news and culture writer for EBONY.com. Born and raised in the Bronx, New York, she considers herself a well-read, not so traditional feminist with a heavy interest in music, fashion and pop culture. Christina currently lives in New York City, where she refers to her Cuban & Jamaican descent often while writing about her experiences as a first-generation Afro-Latinx in America. She also devotes time writing personalized reading material for her tutees and turning ideas into words for streetwear brand, PUER By Noel Bronson.