Nick Cannon and ViacomCBS have re-united after the longtime host of Wild ‘N Out was fired last summer for what the company called “hateful speech and…anti-Semitic conspiracy theories.” It means the improv competition, which had been renewed at VH1 for three more seasons ahead of Cannon’s controversial comments, will soon jump back into production, sources close to the situation tell Deadline.
ViacomCBS says that Cannon has apologized, taken responsibility for his comments, partnered with Jewish leaders to educate himself and has become an anti-hate advocate.
“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,” Cannon said in a statement Thursday.
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On a July 2020 episode of his podcast Cannon’s Class, Cannon discussed race and racism with former Public Enemy member Richard “Professor Griff” Griffin. Referencing the ideas of Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, Cannon said that people who have “the lack of pigment” are “a little less” than those who do, and have “a lack of compassion.”
He continued, “They’re acting out of fear. They’re acting out of low self esteem. They’re acting out of a deficiency. So therefore the only way they can act is evil. They have to rob, steal, rape and [unintelligible] in order to survive.”
The comments drew ire online and led to ViacomCBS’s move to part ways. Cannon also had been prepping his eponymous syndicated daytime talk show from Debmar-Mercury, which was slated for a fall 2020 bow in 90% of the country before the controversy delayed that project as well. Cannon will now will launch this fall.
Cannon created, produced and hosted the original Wild’ N Out on MTV from 2005-2007. He returned to the air in 2013 with the new version, Nick Cannon Presents: Wild ‘N Out, in which Cannon and celebrity guests lead a team of improv comedians as they go head-to-head in competition.
Cannon also hosts Fox’s The Masked Singer, which is going into production on Season 5 this week without Cannon for now as he recovers from Covid-19.
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