Ky. senator apologizes for cussing during Zoom meeting hot mic confusion

·2 min read
Ryan C. Hermens/

State Senator Denise Harper Angel, D-Louisville, committed a common mistake in the age of COVID-19 during the Senate State and Local Government Committee on Wednesday: not knowing when her microphone was turned on.

Curse words caught over the virtual meeting tool Zoom caused Harper Angel to issue an apology later in the day.

Notably frustrated with the technology, the senator can be heard referring to someone she later identified as her husband as being responsible for her missing roll call because she “couldn’t unmute because (he) was “F—ing cussing.” She later tells him “shut up.”

Video of the moment – which took place as Sen. Stephen West explained a bill on administrative regulations he was sponsoring – was first captured and reported by Joe Sonka of the Courier-Journal.

In an apology, Harper noted that the incident was an accident unfortunately caught on broadcast and that it was a “private moment” between her and her husband.

“All couples have their disagreements,” Harper Angel wrote. “The stress of wearing many different hats, combined with an ongoing pandemic, manifested when I had trouble accessing Zoom. This was a personal moment not meant for public broadcast, and I hope everyone will respect that.”

The moment appears to have been cut out from the digital archives of Kentucky Educational Television’s video of the Senate State and Local Government Committee. A spokesperson for the station said that clipping that portion of the conversation was an immediate technical remedy, and that the full conversation will be reinserted soon with the offensive language “bleeped or otherwise obscured.”

Video of the entire meeting was pulled from the Legislative Research Commission’s (LRC) YouTube page. A spokesperson for LRC told the Courier-Journal that the meeting would be reposted, but with the cursing incident removed because it was “unrelated to the substance of the meeting.”