Following a now-viral tweet shared by journalist Matthew Keys, the channel was met with backlash following the incident.
“The Weather Channel confirms this graphic accidentally made it on the air in the Des Moines market on Thursday during the ‘Local on the 8s’ segment,” Keys wrote via Twitter. “I’ve blurred it, but I’m pretty sure you can figure out what it said.”
He also included a screenshot of the graphic, which said “Hello Des Moines, This is your weather my n*****s.” According to the network, the image was not made in-house.
“This did not originate with us, and we are in the process of investigating it further,” wrote a spokesperson for The Weather Channel via Twitter in response to Keys.
The Weather Channel confirms this graphic accidentally made it on air in the Des Moines market on Thursday during a “Locals on the 8s” segment. I’ve blurred it, but I’m pretty sure you can figure out what it said. pic.twitter.com/hDVcomawGp
— Matthew Keys (@MatthewKeysLive) July 22, 2022
Furthermore, The Weather Channel has since deleted the graphic and posted an official apology in a post shared to Facebook.
“A graphic during the Weather Channel cable network’s ‘Local on the 8s’ presentation in Des Moines last evening included a racial slur,” read the statement. “We removed this graphic as soon as we learned of it. This did not originate with us, and we are in the process of investigating it further. We apologize to our viewers.”
Per Keys, the stunt “likely originated at the cable head-end, according to a source, though the network is still trying to figure it out.”
Others chimed in to confirm that his theory of where the graphic stemmed from could very well be true.
“This came from the cable provider,” said one local news expert. “TWC has computer units at cable headends to produce the local on the 8s, and a rogue cable employee must’ve messed with the files and caused it to say that.”