ViacomCBS has severed its ties with Nick Cannon over his espousal of what it calls “hateful speech and…anti-Semitic conspiracy theories.”
On a recent 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.”
Cannon also spoused anti-Semitic conspiracy theories about The Rothschilds and “the bloodlines that control everything, even outside of America.” He said that Black people are the “true Hebrews.”
Viacom issued the following statement to Deadline:
ViacomCBS condemns bigotry of any kind and we categorically denounce all forms of anti-Semitism. 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.
Yesterday, as the controversy mounted, Cannon took to Facebook and tried and explain his words.
“Anyone who knows me knows that I have no hate in my heart nor malice intentions,” said Cannon. “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,” Cannon maintained, “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. 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.”
Last year, Cannon’s comedy improv competition series Wild ‘n Out was renewed for three more seasons by VH1. Cannon also hosts Fox’s popular The Masked Singer.