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Detroit News Anchor Apologizes For Shocking Comment About City's Arab Population

05/08/2015 04:21 pm ET | Updated May 08, 2015

A news anchor apologized Thursday for a comment she made Wednesday about metro Detroit's Arab population.

At the end of a reporter's story about an alleged ISIS threat that included Michigan, Carmen Harlan, a longtime anchor with NBC affiliate WDIV-TV Local 4, said, “Given the fact that we have the largest Arab population outside of the Middle East, I guess this should not come as a real surprise."

"You’re exactly right," reporter Kimberly Gill replied.

Following outrage from Detroit's Muslim and Arab-American communities and progressive groups, Harlan apologized on the air Thursday night.

“On occasion,” Harlan said, journalists’ words can be “misunderstood.”

“In no way did I mean to imply that because of our community’s makeup, there was a higher risk of ISIS threats,” she said. “If a misunderstanding occurred, and it must have, that was never my intent. For that, I apologize.”

“Carmen Harlan did the right thing by apologizing for the remarks she made,” Lonnie Scott, executive director of Progress Michigan, said in a press release. "As a respected journalist who has been a staple in Detroit, we believe Harlan meant no ill will in her comments, but they were still dangerous and needed to be addressed. We appreciate the swift and sincere apology Harlan offered."

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