Nick Cannon posts cryptic tweets amid anti-Semitism controversy



The news was announced in a joint statement from Lionsgate and Debmar-Mercury provided to CNN on Friday.

According to the statement, “The ‘Nick Cannon’ talk show will not debut this year.”

“After conversations with Nick, we do believe that his public comments don’t reflect his true feelings and his apology is heartfelt and sincere,” the statement read. “We want to continue the healing process as he meets with leaders of the Jewish community and engages in a dialogue with our distribution partners to hear their views.”

The statement went on to say, “We are standing by Nick in our hope that by fall 2021 he will be able to use his extraordinary talent and platform to entertain, enlighten and unite his audience on the ‘Nick Cannon’ talk show.”

“Lionsgate and Debmar-Mercury condemn anti-Semitism, racism and hate speech,” it concluded. “It runs counter to everything we stand for.”

It was just the latest development in the controversy.

Early Friday, Cannon sounded off about the reaction to his apology for those remarks.

He tweeted, “I hurt an entire community and it pained me to my core, I thought it couldn’t get any worse.”

“Then I watched my own community turn on me and call me a sell-out for apologizing,” the tweet went on to say. “Goodnight. Enjoy Earth.”

He then added, “Y’all can have this planet. I’m out!”

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The controversy

ViacomCBS ended a decades-long relationship with Cannon this week after he was joined by controversial hip hop figure Professor Griff on a recent episode of the “Cannon’s Class” podcast, where talk turned to Black people as the “true Hebrews” and included anti-Semitic conspiracy theories.

In 1989 Griff was briefly kicked out of the rap group Public Enemy after he made anti-Semitic comments, but later rejoined the group as its ”supreme allied chief of community relations,” according to a New York Times article from that year.

During his appearance on Cannon’s podcast, Griff doubled down on his past comments and said he was “hated now because I told the truth.”

Cannon said that Griff was “speaking facts” and amplified Griff’s views that Jewish people controlled the media, likening it to the power of the Rothschild family, banking scions who have long been targets of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories.

“The Masked Singer” host also disputed that such views were anti-Semitic, saying Black people are the “true Hebrews.”

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

On Monday Cannon posted a series of tweets about the controversy, writing “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,” he wrote. “We are living in a time when it is more important than ever to promote unity and understanding.”

He added that he is “an advocate for people’s voices to be heard openly, fairly and candidly.”

His apology

ViacomCBS has had a professional relationship with Cannon for several years and is the parent company of multiple networks including Nickelodeon, on which Cannon appeared as an actor starting in the 1990s.

ViacomCBS also owns MTV, where Cannon’s comedy sketch series “Wild ‘N Out” has been popular since its debut in 2005 and recently expanded to its sister network, VH1.

On Wednesday a spokesman for the corporation released a statement to CNN saying the company “condemns bigotry of any kind and we categorically denounce all forms of anti-Semitism.”

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“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 statement read.

“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.”

That same day Cannon shared a lengthy post titled “Truth and Reconciliation” on his official Facebook page in which he demanded full ownership of his “Wild ‘N Out” brand and said ViacomCBS was “now on the wrong side of history.”

“I don’t blame any individual, I blame the oppressive and racist infrastructure,” Cannon wrote.

“Systemic racism is what this world was built on and was the subject in which I was attempting to highlight in the recent clips that have been circulating from my podcast. If I have furthered the hate speech, I wholeheartedly apologize.”

He also specifically apologized to the Jewish community.

“I must apologize to my Jewish Brothers and Sisters for putting them in such a painful position, which was never my intention, but I know this whole situation has hurt many people and together we will make it right,” he wrote. “I have dedicated my daily efforts to continuing conversations to bring the Jewish Community and the African American community closer together, embracing our differences and sharing our commonalities.”

He followed that apology with one on Twitter in a thread where he tweeted his thanks to rabbis and others in the Jewish community who he said had reached out to educate him.

Cannon tweeted that his comments “reinforced the worst stereotypes of a proud and magnificent people and I feel ashamed of the uninformed and naïve place that these words came from. The video of this interview has since been removed.”

Fox, which employs Cannon as the host of their popular reality competition show “The Masked Singer,” released a statement Wednesday that he would be keeping his job with them.

“When we were made aware of Nick Cannon’s interview with Richard Griffin on YouTube, we immediately began a dialogue with Nick,” the statement read. “He is clear and remorseful that his words were wrong and lacked both understanding and context, and inadvertently promoted hate. This was important for us to observe. Nick has sincerely apologized, and quickly taken steps to educate himself and make amends.”

CNN has reached out to reps for Cannon for additional comment.


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