A testy exchange between two on-the-air broadcasters led to an excruciatingly awkward moment — and spawned a national catch-phrase.
#JessicaWeAreLive began trending on social media across southern Africa after the unfortunate occurrence on a Wednesday news broadcast of the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation.
Jessica Kaimu, on the set to give a sports presentation, had taken issue with the introduction she was receiving from anchor Elmarie Kapunda. Kaimu cut her off: “No, you’re not going to do that. You’re just going to greet me and say, ‘Take it away.’”
After a beat, Kapunda said quickly: “Jessica, we are live.”
As the sign language interpreter in the inset screen sat with hands folded, the two women stared at each other, then at a camera, in cringe-inducing silence.
Finally, they were rescued by a graphic taking over the screen.
The broadcaster broke its official silence on the matter Thursday, with a spokesperson declaring: “What people heard and saw was something that was supposed to happen behind the scenes.”
Lazarus Jacobs, head of NBC’s board, elaborated to CNN: “There was no disagreement of any sort. The two ladies are good colleagues. … Once you realize that you are on the air and you’ve said something that might be inappropriate for the viewer, you basically freeze.”
“I personally spoke to the two ladies to reassure them their job security is not in jeopardy. This was an honest mistake, it could happen to anybody,” he said.
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