ViacomCBS announced Tuesday they’re cutting ties with their now-former host, Nick Cannon due to anti-Semitic comments he made on a podcast episode he re-released in recent weeks. After tweeting positive comments arguing his comments were well-meaning the day of his separation from the company, Cannon reversed course Wednesday morning with demands from ViacomCBS.
The episode, in which he hosted a rapper who is infamous for his anti-Semitic slurs, garnered increased attention earlier as media outlets caught wind of the controversial remarks.
The media conglomerate — owner of both the show Cannon was hosting, “Masked Singer,” and the show he hosted for nearly a decade, “America’s Got Talent” — released a statement confirming they spoke to Cannon about his hateful speech and anti-Semitic remarks.
“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,” the statement read.
ViacomCBS also said they plan to do better to respond to future incidents of “anti-Semitism, racism, and bigotry.” They will release more announcement as they update their efforts to combat hate, according to the statement.
Cannon made anti-Semitic comments during an episode of his podcast, “Cannon’s Class,” which he recorded last year but re-released on June 30 in light of the current public focus on racism. He hosted former Public Enemy member Richard Griffin, better known as his rapper name, Professor Griff. The two discussed racial disparities and posed peculiar theological and historical theories, including the idea that Black people are true Hebrews and Jewish people have stolen their land and identity.
Cannon initially defended his actions following the company’s announcement in a series of tweets, saying “Anyone who knows me knows that 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… I encourage more healthy dialogue and welcome any experts, clergy, or spokespersons to any of my platforms to hold me accountable and correct me in any statement that I’ve made that has been projected as negative.”
Among his controversial remarks from the 90-minute podcast episode, Cannon said he thinks Jews exploited the world for years, most notably through the Rothschild family’s legacy, a common anti-Semitic slur. Cannon also said he is free of anti-Semitic accusations because he himself is Semitic as a Black person.
Cannon chalked these words up to embracing racial differences and promoting unity in one of his tweets.
“My intentions are only to show that as a beautiful human species we have way more commonalities than differences, So let’s embrace those as well as each other. We All Family!”
Wednesday morning, however, Cannon’s sentiments changed. According to a nearly 1,500-word post that he titled “Truth and Reconciliation” on his Facebook page, he now demands a public apology from ViacomCBS as well as the complete ownership of his MTV and VH1 series “Wild ‘N Out.” Cannon crafted the brand “Wild ‘N Out,” he said, and it has been ruined without his leadership.
“I am the one making demands. I demand 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 asserts that the actions of ViacomCBS in firing him is their attempt to bully, silence, and oppress him and the black community.
“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,” Cannon said in his post.
Although his career with ViacomCBS is terminated, Cannon is still launching a syndicated daytime talk show with Debmar-Mercury.