High school student Micheal Brown made headlines last week for a remarkable feat: He was accepted by all 20 colleges he applied to, and each institution awarded him a full scholarship to boot.
Video of Brown, screaming with excitement as he learned of his acceptances surrounded by family and friends, went viral. Four Ivy League institutions ― Harvard, Yale, Princeton and the University of Pennsylvania ― want him, as do Stanford, Northwestern, Johns Hopkins and 11 more top-rated colleges.
While the exceptional senior, who earned a 4.68 GPA at Lamar High School in Houston was praised by many ― from reporters to readers to President Bill Clinton ― a local news team in Washington has come under fire for harshly criticizing the student.
On Fox 5 DC last week, morning co-anchor Holly Morris and contributor Sarah Fraser laid into Brown for applying to 20 schools, calling his decision to do so “obnoxious” and suggesting he was showing off.
“It’s a little ridiculous that this kid applied to 20, taking away a spot and basically waitlisting another kid,” Fraser said.
“I’m urging my kids not to,” co-anchor Allison Seymour said in an aside.
“It’s a little obnoxious because you can only go to one, you can only take one full ride, and you are taking a spot from someone else who worked really hard,” Morris said.
The backlash was swift and has grown over the past week as a Now This video criticizing the Fox 5 segment went viral.
Twitters users are laying into the journalists, saying their comments seemed racially motivated.
In response to the backlash, Fraser tweeted an apology to Brown on Saturday, saying she learned a “valuable lesson.” Brown tweeted that he accepted her apology.
Morris maintained that she was criticizing the act of applying to 20 schools, not Brown himself. She also said she would have had the same response if the student were white.
Brown said he had a Skype interview with Morris but has asked the station not to air it since the anchor has still not apologized.
Fox 5 DC, Morris, Seymour and Brown did not respond to HuffPost’s requests for comment.
Clarification: Language in this story has been amended to no longer indicate the anchors worked for the Fox News cable network.