Portland Station Apologizes for Airing Racist Photo

By Kevin Eck 

KGW in Portland, Oregon apologized Friday for showing a racist image during a program aimed at highlighting positive stories.

The Tegna-owned station showed the image featuring the “n” word on Thursday evening during The Good Stuff, which includes a Throwback Thursday segment.

The image shows kids throwing balls towards a sign prominently displaying the racial slur..


“We deeply regret and apologize for the distress caused by the inadvertent airing of offensive content during Thursday evening’s broadcast of The Good Stuff program on KGW,” the station posted to its website. “During a segment inviting viewers to share their ‘Throwback Thursday’ photos via social media platforms, we unfortunately aired a photo featuring deeply racist imagery and language. The image, seemingly from the 1950s, depicted children throwing balls towards a sign prominently displaying the N-word.”

From the station:

Despite our rigorous policy of thoroughly screening all content for standards and accuracy before broadcast, we acknowledge our failure to uphold our own standards in this instance.

We understand the profound hurt this image inflicted upon our viewers and staff, particularly members of our Black community. To those who were exposed to the image and were hurt by it, we offer our sincerest apologies.

We have reevaluated our policies regarding the airing of user-submitted content from social media and taken internal steps to address the mistake. Additionally, KGW leadership has actively engaged with Black community leaders and government officials to acknowledge our failure and extend our apology for the harm caused.

As a company, we are dedicated to fostering inclusivity and compassion. While we acknowledge our failure on this occasion, we are committed to earning back the trust that has been compromised by the broadcast of this offensive photo. We recognize the importance of accountability and will work diligently to prevent such incidents from occurring in the future.

“This morning I met with Portland Chapter NAACP leaders, James Posey and Pastor Hennessee, to discuss the deeply disturbing graphic shared by KGW news. Together, we are calling on KGW to immediately address this issue and ensure changes are made to prevent anything like this from happening in the future,” said Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler.

“We are appalled by the slide shared by KGW news yesterday evening that displayed an explicitly racist image. We are looking to KGW leadership to immediately provide clarity on how and why this happened. We will provide an updated response once more information is gathered and ask that the community walk with us as we learn more,” said Portland Chapter NAACP leaders James Posey and Pastor J.W. Matt Hennessee.

The station said its management met with Black pastors, NAACP leaders, the mayor and local government staff to discuss the incident.