TV host and producer Nick Cannon issued a lengthy apology on Wednesday night for anti-Semitic remarks he made, which cost him a job this week and potentially put another job in jeopardy.
He appeared to make the apology after one of his employers — Fox Broadcasting Company — reportedly gave him a stern talking-to over the remarks.
What’s the history?
Cannon made decidedly anti-Semitic remarks about Jewish people during a 2019 episode of his podcast, “Cannon’s Class.” He issued the controversial comments during a conversation with former Public Enemy member Richard “Professor Griff” Griffin.
ViacomCBS — parent company of MTV — fired Cannon, 39, following the remarks, which recently resurfaced on the internet. Up until his firing, ViacomCBS had employed Cannon since the 1990s.
Following his firing from ViacomCBS, Cannon blasted the company for firing him — a move that he said placed the company “on the wrong side of history.” He also insisted upon an apology from the company — which he never received. He also said that he was a victim of systemic racism because of the firing.
He wrote, “I am deeply saddened in a moment so close to reconciliation that the powers that be, misused an important moment for us all to grow closer together and learn more about one another. Instead the moment was stolen and highjacked [sic] to make an example of an outspoken black man.”
Cannon added, “They wanted to put the young negro in his place. They wanted to show me who is boss, hang me out to dry and make an example of anyone who says something they don’t agree with.”
He had a busy Wednesday — because after slamming the network for firing him, he told Fast Company that he would not apologize for the remarks.
It seemed apparent that Fox — which employs him as the host of its hit show “The Masked Singer” — got to him afterward, however, and said that immediately after the company learned of Cannon’s remarks, it “immediately began a dialogue with Nick” about his remarks. A company spokesman also issued the following statement on the status of his employment:
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.
What did he say in his apology?
The TV host and producer made the new apology on Facebook, writing, “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.”
During the questionable exchange with Griffin, Cannon said that blacks are the “true Hebrews” and that Jewish people have appropriated their identities. He also insisted that light-skinned Jews “have a deficiency” that prevents dark skin, and more.
“[The remarks] reinforced the worst stereotypes of a proud and magnificent people and I feel ashamed of the uninformed and naive place that these words came from,” he continued on Wednesday evening. “The video of this interview has since been removed.”
Cannon also promised to educate himself in order to strengthen the “bond” between black and Jewish people.
“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,” he insisted.
He also added that he now realizes that he only perpetuated “hateful propaganda” and pushed “stereotypical rhetoric” with his remarks.
“I just had the blessed opportunity to converse with Rabbi Abraham Cooper director of global social action @SimonWiesenthal My first words to my brother was, I apologize for the hurt I caused the Jewish Community,” he wrote in a follow-up Facebook post. “On my podcast I used words and referenced literature I assumed to be factual to uplift my community, but instead turned out to be hateful propaganda and stereotypical rhetoric that pained another community. For this I am deeply sorry, but now together we can write a new chapter of healing.”