St. Louis TV Station Apologizes After Anchor Calls Black Homeowners 'Colored' During Broadcast

“The term is outdated, offensive and racist,” the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) said in a statement

<p>Raymond Boyd/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty</p> KMOV TV4/KMOX/CBS Radio Building, in St. Louis, Missouri

Raymond Boyd/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty

KMOV TV4/KMOX/CBS Radio Building, in St. Louis, Missouri

A St. Louis TV station has issued an apology after an anchor used an outdated and offensive term on the air.

On Feb. 26, KMOV anchor Cory Stark was setting up a story about Black homeowners and appraisals when he referred to the homeowners as “colored,” according to The Guardian and NBC News.

JD Sosnoff, general manager of the CBS affiliate, said in a statement to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that the phrase was originally written as “homeowners of color” before it was “inadvertently changed and mistakenly read on air.”

“We regret the error and apologized to our viewers," he added.

Stark apologized on-air for using the term. “The word should have never come out of my mouth, and it does not reflect who I am or what First Alert 4 represents,” he said, per The Guardian and NBC News.

KMOV did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.

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The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) said in a statement that it was “appalled and disappointed” by the recent incident, and that it was “upsetting that such a slur would make it to air.”

“The term is outdated, offensive and racist,” the NABJ continued. “We are concerned that no one in the KMOV newsroom caught this error, and we question KMOV’s editorial process when it comes to cultural awareness.”

They added, “Given that St. Louis’ population is 43% Black, and the city is no stranger to racial strife, we would hope KMOV would be more sensitive in how it covers the Black community.”

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Management at the station contacted NABJ “to learn how to educate the newsroom on issues within the Black community” after the incident, according to the association.

NABJ President Ken Lemon and Vice President-Broadcast Walter Smith Randolph said they “look forward to these discussions with KMOV’s management” in the future.

However, they added, “this further shows the fight for equal treatment and fair coverage is not over. We hope these discussions will be fruitful and yield documentable results.”

KMOV management has also met with local leaders in wake of the incident, according to the NABJ.

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St. Louis County NAACP President John Bowman told the Post-Dispatch that he instantly contacted KMOV about the broadcast and does not believe the word was intentionally used to offend others.

“Trust me, I’ve had enough experience dealing with people who intentionally show discrimination or racist behaviors,” Bowman said. “But I’ve interacted with Cory Stark, and at no time have I ever felt that about him.”

However, the NABJ said KMOV's efforts are “not enough” and that the station “should retrain their employees on diversity, equity and inclusion issues while investing in recruiting and retaining Black employees on and off-air.”

“NABJ will continue to monitor this station and the efforts of Gray TV to enhance its processes and protocols to eliminate this and similar issues," the association said in its statement.

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