Nick Cannon Says ViacomCBS "Swindled" Him; Demands Show Back, Apology

Less than a day after Nick Cannon (VH1's Wild 'n Out, FOX's The Masked Singer) was fired by ViacomCBS over what it called "hateful speech and… anti-Semitic conspiracy theories," Cannon is clearly no longer in the reflective mood demonstrated in a previous social media post on the comments in question. Taking to Facebook Wednesday morning, Cannon took the attack to the media company, saying he was "swindled" out of his ownership of Wild 'n Out by ViacomCBS and demanding that the rights to the show be turned back over to him with an "apology."

THE MASKED SINGER: L-R: Bee and host Nick Cannon in the "Semi Finals: Double Unmasking" episode of THE MASKED SINGER airing Wednesday, Feb. 20 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. © 2019 FOX Broadcasting. Cr. Michael Becker / FOX.

"I created a billion-dollar brand that expanded across a multitiered empire that is still Viacom's biggest digital brand, touring business, talent discovery and incubation system and successful restaurant franchise. Based on trust and empty promises, my ownership was swindled away from me. For Viacom to be so deceptive is no surprise; they have been mistreating and robbing our community for years, underpaying talent on their biggest brands like Love & Hip Hop, all of BET programming and of course, Wild 'N Out."

Here's a look at Cannon's entire post, where he also alleges that ViacomCBS refused to run ads in support of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, saying that he "went as far to reach out to Ms. Shari Redstone, the owner of Viacom, to have a conversation of reconciliation and actually apologize if I said anything that pained or hurt her or her community. Dead Silence!"

That last claim was quickly denied by the company, with a ViacomCBS spokesperson providing a statement to Deadline Hollywood directly: "It is absolutely untrue that Nick Cannon reached out to the Chair of ViacomCBS." The company representative believes Cannon's accusations are based on a Wall Street Journal article from the past weekend, where a ViacomCBS spokesperson discussed ad placement: "Due to the comedic nature of the show we believe is in question 'Revenge Prank,' we didn't want to be insensitive by placing ads for it next to important and serious topics, such as Black Lives Matter. This is standard practice we use with our media agency to ensure that our ads don't come across as tone-deaf or disrespectful."

Cannon made his comments during a recent podcast episode of Cannon's Class when Cannon and guest former Public Enemy member Richard "Professor Griff" Griffin discussed the issue of race and racism in both historical contexts as well as in how they relate to today's environment. During their conversation, Cannon referenced the teachings of Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan by saying that those with "lack of pigment" are "a little less" that those with skin pigment and have "a lack of compassion."

Cannon would continue with his "theory": "They're acting out of fear. They're acting out of low self esteem. They're acting out of a deficiency. So therefore the only way they can act is evil. They have to rob, steal, rape and [unintelligible] in order to survive." Referring to Black people as the "true Hebrews," Cannon also went on to discuss anti-Semitic conspiracy theories about The Rothschilds, referencing "the bloodlines that control everything, even outside of America."

Here's a look at the statement released by ViacomCBS at the time regarding their decision:

"ViacomCBS condemns bigotry of any kind and we categorically denounce all forms of anti-Semitism. We have spoken with Nick Cannon about an episode of his podcast 'Cannon's Class' on YouTube, which promoted hateful speech and spread anti-Semitic conspiracy theories. While we support ongoing education and dialogue in the fight against bigotry, we are deeply troubled that Nick has failed to acknowledge or apologize for perpetuating anti-Semitism, and we are terminating our relationship with him. We are committed to doing better in our response to incidents of anti-Semitism, racism, and bigotry. ViacomCBS will have further announcements on our efforts to combat hate of all kinds."

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About Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought onto the core BC team in 2017.
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