A chief meteorologist at an American TV station has been fired for allegedly using a racial slur during a live broadcast.
According to the New York Post, Jeremy Kappell was describing a photo of Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park when he allegedly said: "Martin Luther c**n King Jr.".
Video of the broadcast went viral over the weekend and clocked up hundreds of thousands of views and public outcry for his dismissal.
NBC conducted an internal investigation and later announced Kappell had been fired as a result of the broadcast.
Station vice president and general manager Richard A. Reingold said: "These words have no place on News10NBC's air, and the fact that we broadcast them disheartens and disgusts me; that it was not caught immediately is inexcusable. I regret that we did not immediately interrupt our broadcast and apologise on the spot."
Kappell maintains the slur was a "verbal slip", but nevertheless issued a video apology and formal explanation to "all those offended."
"What happened on Friday, to me, it's a simple misunderstanding," he said.
"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.
"Now in my mind, I knew I had mispronounced. But there was no malice. I had no idea the way it came across to many people. As soon as I had started to mispronounce it, I put an emphasis on King and moved on.
"Had no idea what some people could have interpreted that as. And I know some people did interpret that the wrong way — that is not a word that I said, I promise you that. And if you did feel that it hurt you in any way, I sincerely apologise.
"I would never want to tarnish the reputation of such a great man as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., one of the greatest civic leaders of all time. He changed the world forever, and he changed the world for better … Those who know me, you know I don't even have to say it — I would never intend to harm that way to anyone."