Austin News Station Apologizes For Caption That Called Teen Bombing Victim A 'Monkey'

Draylen Mason/Facebook

Paula Rogo Mar, 24, 2018

A news station in Austin, Texas has apologized after coming under fire for referring to one of the black victims of the Austin bombings as a “monkey.”

ABC- affiliate KVUE used the racial slur against 17-year-old Draylen Mason in a closed caption that ran across the screen during a news segment on Tuesday, the Statesman News reports. Mason was killed on March 12 after picking up a package bomb. His mother was also injured.

Austin, Texas was on edge for days as a series of package bombs killed two and injured four people, including Mason. 

KVUE blamed Colorado-based closed captioning firm VITAC for the error. KVUE contracts VITAC to caption its news broadcasts. By Thursday, KVUE announced that it had severed ties with the company

“We are taking this mistake very seriously and we are heartsick about this terrible error,” KVUE said in a statement.

VITAC also apologized to Mason’s family for the unfortunate error: “We provide more than 525,000 hours of real-time broadcast captioning in a year, striving as we do so for 100 percent accuracy in the delivery of our captioning services,” the statement said.

Mark Conditt, the bomber, was killed after a bomb detonated inside his car as officers closed in on him to arrest him Wednesday.

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