“Oh Dear, Was That an Error?” — CNBC Host Accidentally Outs Apple’s Tim Cook As Gay On-Air

CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street” co-host Simon Hobbs accidentally spilled the beans, saying Apple CEO Tim Cook was “openly gay” during a discussion about closeted CEOs this morning.

Cook has remained silent about his personal life and has not publicly discussed his sexual orientation.

Hobbs remark was met with awkward silence by those on the CNBC panel, including New York Times columnist James Stewart, who was on the show to talk about his column on the lack of high-profile gay execs across the business landscape.

There are gay CEOs in major companies, and I reached out to many of them,” said Stewart. “I got an extremely cool reception, not one would allow to be named at all.”

Hobbs then brought up Tim Cook: “I think Tim Cook is fairly open about the fact he’s gay at the head of Apple, isn’t he?

[Crickets Chirping]

Hobbs then tried to recover by saying, “Oh, dear, was that an error?. I thought he was open about it.

I don’t want to comment about anybody who might or might not be,” Stewart said, shaking his head in disappointment. “I’m not going to out anybody.

Watch the awkward exchange below:

Apple’s media-shy CEO, delivered a rare and powerful public speech at the United Nations in December, where he spoke out about the discrimination he suffered early on in his life. “Since these early days, I have seen and have experienced many types of discrimination and all of them were rooted in the fear of people that were different than the majority.

[H/T: ReCode/Instinct]