Nick Cannon to remain 'Masked Singer' host after firing from ViacomCBS over anti-Semitic remarks

Fox has decided that Nick Cannon will remain the host of The Masked Singer.

The decision to keep Cannon as host of the singing competition series comes after ViacomCBS fired the Drumline actor from his improv show Wild ‘N Out after his anti-Semitic comments on a recent podcast.

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

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The network’s statement continued: “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.”

Following Fox’s statement, Cannon issued an apology, saying: “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. They 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.

“The video of this interview has since been removed. While the Jewish experience encompasses more than 5,000 years and there is so much I have yet to learn, I have had at least a minor history lesson over the past few days and to say that it is eye-opening would be a vast understatement,” he continued.

“I want to express my gratitude to the rabbis, community leaders and institutions who reached out to me to help enlighten me, instead of chastising me,” Cannon added. “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.”

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Cannon’s apology comes after his remarks received backlash online from a podcast in which he and Richard “Professor Griff” Griffith, the former Public Enemy member, discussed racial bias. The podcast was reportedly recorded last year and aired two weeks ago.

Griffith was fired from Public Enemy for making anti-Semitic remarks in a 1989 interview with the Washington Post.

During Cannon and Griffith’s conversation, the pair discussed the term anti-Semitic and claimed it could not be used against Black people because “the Semitic people and language have nothing to do with white people.”

In Cannon’s hour-plus podcast, he and Griffin contend that Black people are the true Hebrews and that Jews have usurped their identity.

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

Cannon then segues into a discussion of skin colour.

“And I’m going to say this carefully,” he said, while alleging that people who lack sufficient melanin are “a little less.”

Those without dark skin have a “deficiency” that has historically forced them to act out of fear and commit acts of violence to survive, he said.

“They had to be savages,” Cannon said, adding that he was referring to “Jewish people, white people, Europeans,” among others.

During their conversation, Cannon and Griffith also praised Louis Farrakhan, the Nation of Islam leader, who is frequently criticized for his anti-Semitic views.

“Every time I’ve heard him speak, it’s positive, it’s powerful, it’s uplifting,” Cannon said of Farrakhan, before claiming the leader had been “demonized.”

After ViacomCBS announced it had severed ties with the 39-year-old television host, he released an explosive Facebook post titled “Truth and Reconciliation.”

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“I am deeply saddened in a moment so close to reconciliation that the powers that be misused an important moment for us to all grow closer together and learn more about one another,” he began. “Instead the moment was stolen and hijacked to make an example of an outspoken Black man.”

Cannon said he will not “be bullied, silenced, or continuously oppressed by any organization, group or corporation.”

“I am disappointed that Viacom does not understand or respect the power of the Black community. I was a member of the Viacom ‘family’ for over 20 years. Since I was a minor, we worked together to make great positive entertainment and I was handed many opportunities that I am grateful for,” he wrote.

“My time at Viacom also birthed one of my other greatest creative accomplishments; their longest-running comedy series and the most successful hip-hop programming in television history Wild ‘N Out. An idea in which I self-financed out my own pocket and presented to MTV. I created a billion-dollar brand that expanded across a multi-tiered empire that is still Viacom’s biggest digital brand, touring business, talent discovery and incubation system and successful restaurant franchise.”

He continued: “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.”

Cannon concluded by demanding “full ownership of my billion-dollar Wild ‘N Out brand that I created, and they will continue to misuse and destroy without my leadership!

“I demand that the hate and back-door bullying cease and while we are at it, now that the truth is out, I demand the apology!” Cannon concluded.

Truth and Reconciliation.I am deeply saddened in a moment so close to reconciliation that the powers that be, misused…

Posted by Nick Cannon on Wednesday, July 15, 2020

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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