Nick Cannon (VH1's Wild 'n Out, FOX's The Masked Singer) and ViacomCBS are going their separate ways, with the media company announcing on Tuesday that it had terminated its business dealing with Cannon over what it calls "hateful speech and… anti-Semitic conspiracy theories." Here's a look at the statement released by ViacomCBS 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."
The comments in question took place 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."
Cannon took to Facebook on Monday in an attempt to explain his comments in a greater context, with some finding Cannon's post as being nothing more than an attempt at public relations repair. "Anyone who knows me knows that I have no hate in my heart nor malice intentions. I do not condone hate speech nor the spread of hateful rhetoric. We are living in a time when it is more important than ever to promote unity and understanding," wrote Cannon in the opening of his post. He continued, "The Black and Jewish communities have both faced enormous hatred, oppression persecution and prejudice for thousands of years and in many ways have and will continue to work together to overcome these obstacles." Cannon's Wild-n-Out was recently picked up for three more seasons at VH!, and there is no word yet on if this will impact his Masked Singer hosting duties.