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Nick Cannon apologizes for 'hurtful' anti-Semitic comments

Fox said Cannon would remain the host of 'The Masked Singer' after ViacomCBS cut ties with him.
Nick Cannon apologizes for 'hurtful' anti-Semitic comments
Posted at 8:59 AM, Jul 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-16 10:59:05-04

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Nick Cannon has apologized for "hurtful and divisive" anti-Semitic comments that led ViacomCBS to cut ties with the TV host and producer.

The company's move came in response to remarks made by Cannon on a podcast in which he discussed racial bias with a former Public Enemy member, Richard Griffin.

Cannon produced "Wild 'n Out," a comedy improv series for VH1, the ViacomCBS-owned cable channel.

Cannon says in a series of apology tweets that he had spoken with several Jewish leaders Wednesday and was committed to better educating himself in the future.

The Anti-Defamation League and Jewish leaders had demanded the apology for anti-Semitic theories expressed by Cannon.

Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s associate dean, told The Associated Press that Cannon reached out to him Wednesday and during a telephone conversation he asked him to post the apology on Twitter.

Cannon apologized in a lengthy post on Twitter.

"First and foremost I extend my deepest and most sincere apologies to my Jewish sisters and brothers for the hurtful and divisive words that came out of my mouth during my interview with Richard Griffin," Cannon wrote.

"I want to assure my Jewish friends, new and old, that this is only the beginning of my education—I am committed to deeper connections, more profound learning and strengthening the bond between our two cultures today and every day going forward," Cannon concluded.

On the podcast episode, which was recorded last year, but aired in June, NBC News reported that Cannon said Black people were the "true Hebrews" and spoke about anti-Semitic conspiracy theories involving the Rothschild family.

“It’s never hate speech, you can’t be anti-Semitic when we are the Semitic people,” Cannon said, according to Variety. “When we are the same people who they want to be. That’s our birthright. We are the true Hebrews.”

Cooper had told the AP earlier that Cannon should reject the words of Nation of Islam leader Minister Louis Farrakhan and instead seek guidance in the teachings of Martin Luther King Jr.

Cannon is also the host of Fox's "The Masked Singer." Fox says he'll remain the host of that show.

"When we were made aware of Nick Cannon’s interview with Richard Griffin on YouTube, we immediately began a dialogue with Nick. He is clear and remorseful that his words were wrong and lacked both understanding and context, and inadvertently promoted hate," Fox officials said in a tweet.

"This was important for us to observe. Nick has sincerely apologized and quickly taken steps to educate himself and make amends. On that basis and given a belief that this moment calls for dialogue, we will move forward with Nick and help him advance this important conversation, broadly. FOX condemns all forms of hate directed toward any community and we will combat bigotry of any kind," Fox concluded.