Nick Cannon has been fired from ViacomCBS after a clip of his Cannon’s Class podcast went viral on Monday (July 13). While speaking to Professor Griff of Public Enemy fame in an episode uploaded to YouTube on June 30, the Power 106 radio personality made some comments perceived to be anti-Semitic.
“It’s never hate speech, you can’t be anti-Semitic when we are the Semitic people,” Cannon said. “When we are the same people who they want to be. That’s our birthright. We are the true Hebrews.”
He added, “The people who don’t have [melanin] … are a little less … so they’re acting out of fear, they’re acting out of low self-esteem. They’re acting out of a deficiency, so therefore they only way that they can act is evil. They have to rob, steal, rape, kill and fight in order to survive … so then these people that didn’t have what we have — and when I say we, I mean the melaninated people — they had to be savages. They had to be barbaric … so they’re the ones that are actually closer to animals. They are the true savages.”
In 1989, Griff faced similar criticism after saying, “Jews are responsible for the majority of the wickedness in the world,” which led to his dismissal from Public Enemy. But despite his controversial past, Cannon praised Griff and the anti-Semitic Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, and promoted conspiracy theories about the Rothschild banking family and the notion people of African descent are the “true” Jews.
Cannon later addressed the backlash, but didn’t offer an apology.
“Anyone who knows me knows that I have no hate in my heart nor malice intentions,” he tweeted on Monday afternoon. “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.
“The Black and Jewish communities have both faced enormous hatred, oppression persecution and prejudice for thousands of years and in many ways have and will continue to work together to overcome these obstacles.”
Cannon continued, “When you look at The Media, and other sectors in our nation’s history, African Americans and The people of the Jewish community have partnered to create some of the best, most revolutionary work we know today. (Cont.).
“I am an advocate for people’s voices to be heard openly, fairly and candidly. In today’s conversation about anti-racism and social justice, I think we all including myself must continue educating one another &embrace uncomfortable conversations it’s the only way we ALL get better.”
“ViacomCBS condemns bigotry of any kind and we categorically denounce all forms of anti-Semitism,” the statement read. “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.”
But Cannon insisted he meant no harm and fully owned the situation.
“Until then, I hold myself accountable for this moment and take full responsibility because My intentions are only to show that as a beautiful human species we have way more commonalities than differences,” he said. “So let’s embrace those as well as each other. We All Family!”