“We are committed to doing better in our response to incidents of anti-Semitism, racism, and bigotry,” company says
ViacomCBS has cut ties with “Wild ‘N Out” host Nick Cannon after a podcast episode which “promoted hateful speech and spread anti-Semitic Conspiracy theories,” the company said.
“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,” a spokesperson said in a statement late Tuesday.
Cannon’s comments came in an episode of his podcast series “Cannon’s Class” last month in which he interviewed former Public Enemy member Richard “Professor Griff” Griffin — who himself was fired from the group for making anti-Semitic comments in a 1989 interview — and repeatedly referenced fringe conspiracy theories about Jewish people. During the conversation, Cannon said Black people are the “true Hebrews” and praised Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan
In the interview and in follow-up statements, Cannon has repeatedly stressed that his comments were not intended to be hateful. “Anyone who knows me knows that I have no hate in my heart nor malice intentions,” he wrote in a Facebook post on Monday. “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.”
He later said in an interview with Fast Company that he would not apologize for the comments.
“To me apologies are empty. … What we need is healing. What we need is discussion. Correct me. I don’t tell my children to say, ‘I’m sorry.’ I want them to understand where they need to be corrected. And then that’s how we grow,” he said.
Here’s the full statement from ViacomCBS:
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.”
More to come…
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