Media giant ViacomCBS has severed ties with Nick Cannon following controversial comments the actor made on his podcast.
On the June 30 episode of his podcast Cannon’s Class, Cannon made remarks which many criticised as anti-Semitic during his interview with former Public Enemy member Professor Griff. Griff was fired from Public Enemy in the late 1980s following an interview in which he claimed that “the Jews are wicked”.
“The Semitic people are Black people,” Cannon said on the podcast. “You can’t be anti-Semitic when we are the Semitic people… when we are the same people they want to be. That’s our birthright.”
Cannon went on to refer to African-Americans as “the true Hebrews” and praised Professor Griff for “speaking unapologetically”. “You stuck to your guns,” Cannon said.
Yesterday (July 14), Cannon issued a statement on Facebook responding to outcry over his comments.
“Anyone who knows me knows that I have no hate in my heart nor malice intentions,” it reads in part. “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.”
Today (July 15), ViacomCBS announced that it would no longer work with the actor. Cannon has hosted several shows on ViacomCBS’ MTV and Nickelodeon networks throughout his career, including The Nick Cannon Show and TeenNick Top 10.
“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,” the network wrote in a statement, per Variety.
It continued, “While we support ongoing education and dialogue in the fight against bigotry, we are deeply troubled that Nick has failed to acknowledge or apologise 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.”
Cannon has yet to respond to the termination or ViacomCBS’ statement.
Cannon also currently hosts The Masked Singer on Fox. The network has yet to release a statement on his comments.