Martin Luther King Jr’s daughter, Dr, Bernice King has spoken out in defense of the weatherman who was fired for using a racial slur during a live broadcast.
Meteorologist Jeremy Kappell was fired from WHEC when he mistakenly referred to a park named after her dad as “Martin Luther C*on Jr. Park.”
“I believe when these racial slurs occur unless there’s a situation where it’s continual, that people need an opportunity to be rehabilitated and we don’t focus a lot of rehabilitation. There have to be some repercussions, but I don’t think it should go as far as firing an individual," King told TMZ.
King felt the firing was not proper usage of a teachable moment but thought the station should have instead demoted or reassigned Kappell for his error.
King said that a demotion, reassignment and bias training would have been acceptable.
Kappell has already issued a public apology via his Facebook page.
“What happened on Friday, to me, it’s a simple misunderstanding. 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 said in the video as he sat alongside his wife.
Al Roker also tweetedin defense of Kappell:
“I think @JeremyKappell made an unfortunate flub and should be given the chance to apologize on @news10nbc Anyone who has done live tv and screwed up (google any number of ones I’ve done) understands,” he wrote.