TV Station Apologizes After Anchor Calls Black People 'Colored' On Air

News anchor Cory Stark of KMOV’s Channel 4 in St. Louis called Black homeowners “colored” in a broadcast last month, prompting an apology from the station and an explanation for how the “error” happened.

On Feb. 26, while introducing a segment on discriminatory housing practices for the CBS affiliate, Stark, who is white, said, “Tonight, colored homeowners are sounding the alarm when it comes to undervalued home appraisals.”

JD Sosnoff, vice president and general manager of the CBS affiliate, attributed the incident to an inadvertent script change.

“It was in an original script as ‘homeowners of color’ and was inadvertently changed and mistakenly read on air,” Sosnoff told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch in a story published Tuesday. “We regret the error and apologized to our viewers on air.”

Stark apologized on air last week.

“The word should have never come out of my mouth, and it does not reflect who I am or what First Alert 4 represents,” Stark said, per the Post-Dispatch.

The jarring usage caught the attention of the National Association of Black Journalists, which issued a statement on its website Friday.

“The term is outdated, offensive and racist,” the association said. “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.”

The NABJ noted the area’s large Black population and St. Louis’ previous “racial strife,” calling on the station to retrain its employees on matters of diversity, equity and inclusion.

St. Louis County NAACP President John Bowman told the Post-Dispatch that while the broadcast evoked bad memories from another era, he believed Stark had no ill intentions.

“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.”

Cory Stark:
Cory Stark: "The word should have never come out of my mouth." Instagram