Nick Cannon apologizes to Jewish community: ‘I feel ashamed’

Nick Cannon on Wednesday apologized on Twitter for the “hurtful and divisive words” he said last month on his podcast “Cannon’s Class,” which resulted in his termination from ViacomCBS for “perpetuating anti-Semitism.”

“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,” Cannon, the host of the popular MTV show “Wild ‘N Out,” tweeted late Wednesday evening.

“They 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,” he added. “The video of this interview has since been removed.”

Cannon recently agreed with former Public Enemy rapper Richard Griffin, known as Professor Griff, and his assertion that Jews are “wicked.” 

“I’m hated now because I told the truth,” Griffin, who left Public Enemy in 1989 upon making the comment, told Cannon during the “Cannon’s Class” podcast on June 30.

“You’re speaking facts,” Cannon said.

“Semitic people are Black people” Cannon, an African American, later added. “You can’t be anti-Semitic when we are the Semitic people.”

ViacomCBS fired Cannon this week for conduct that promoted “hateful speech and spread anti-Semitic conspiracy theories,” according to the media giant.

“ViacomCBS condemns bigotry of any kind and we categorically denounce all forms of anti-Semitism,” ViacomCBS said in a statement. “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.”

Cannon has been a fixture at ViacomCBS for more than two decades, hosting an array of programs over the years.

Initially Cannon seemed to avoid issuing a formal apology, instead tweeting that he did not have “malice intentions.”

“Anyone who knows me knows that I have no hate in my heart nor malice intentions,” he wrote 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.”

But days later he took to Twitter and Facebook to apologize, adding, “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.”

Joe Concha contributed.

Tags anti-semitism Nick Cannon
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