ViacomCBS Fires Nick Cannon over Anti-Semitic Comments

Actor Nick Cannon poses during a photocall to promote the movie ‘Chi-Raq’ at the 66th Berlinale International Film Festival in Berlin, Germany, February 16, 2016. (Hannibal Hanschke/Reuters)

ViacomCBS has fired Nick Cannon after the TV host and producer made “hateful” anti-Semitic comments in a recent episode of his podcast.

“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 company said in a statement Tuesday, adding that it is “committed to doing better in our response to incidents of anti-Semitism, racism and bigotry.”

On an episode of his podcast Cannon’s Class, which was reportedly recorded last year and aired two weeks ago, Cannon and Richard “Professor Griff” Griffin say that black people are the true Hebrews and that Jews have usurped their identity.  

Griffin, a former member of Public Enemy who was fired in 1989 after saying Jews were responsible for “the majority of the wickedness that goes on across the globe,” stood by his previous comments, to which Cannon replied, “You’re speaking facts.” 

Cannon also referenced anti-Semitic conspiracy theories about “the Rothschilds, centralized banking, the 13 families, the bloodlines that control everything even outside of America.” 

He later goes on to say that people who lack melanin are “a little less,” adding that those without dark skin have a “deficiency” that historically forced them to act out of fear and commit acts of violence to survive.

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

As Cannon’s statements spread through social media on Monday, with some calling his behavior “black supremacy,” Cannon posted on Facebook saying he had “no hate in my heart nor malice intentions.”

“I do not condone hate speech nor the spread of hateful rhetoric,” he said. “I hold myself accountable for this moment and take full responsibility.”

Cannon had produced the comedy improv series “Wild ‘n Out” for VH1, a ViacomCBS-owned cable channel and has held roles for other networks, including as host on NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” and Fox’s “The Masked Singer.”


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