ViacomCBS severed ties with Nick Cannon Tuesday after decades of being in business with the multifaceted entertainer. They allege Cannon made antisemitic comments after the ‘Wild ‘N Out’ creator said Black people were the original Hebrew Israelites, among other things. Now Cannon is demanding an apology.
“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,” the company said in a statement to Variety. “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.”
Listen to GHOGH with Jamarlin Martin | Episode 73: Jamarlin Martin
Jamarlin makes the case for why this is a multi-factor rebellion vs. just protests about George Floyd. He discusses the Democratic Party’s sneaky relationship with the police in cities and states under Dem control, and why Joe Biden is a cop and the Steve Jobs of mass incarceration.
On an episode of his podcast “Cannon’s Class” released June 30, the television host interviewed former Public Enemy member Richard “Professor Griff” Griffin – who was removed from the group in 1989 after coming under fire for antisemitism when he said Jewish people were responsible “for the majority of wickedness that goes on across the globe.”
During the interview, Griffin said he’d done research on Semitic people and languages and based on what he found, both have “absolutely nothing to do with any white people, not at all.”
“Right … because the Semitic people are Black people, so I get that clarity, we gon’ say that again, the Semitic people are Black people,” Cannon responded. “It’s never hate speech, you can’t be anti-Semitic when we are the Semitic people. … When we are the same people who they want to be. That’s our birthright. We are the true Hebrews.”
Cannon also said many white people lacked compassion because they lacked melanin, which gives Black people power.
“Melanin comes with compassion. Melanin comes with soul. We call it soul. We soul brothers and sisters. That’s the melanin that connects us so the people that don’t have it are, and I’m gon’ say this carefully, a little less … they may not have the compassion,” Cannon said. “So then 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 that they can act is evil. … They have to rob, steal, rape, kill and pillage in order to survive. So, then these people who didn’t have what we have, and when I say we, I speak of the melanated (sic) people, they had to be savages. They had to be barbaric …”
After news of his firing broke, Cannon tweeted he had “no hate in his heart nor malice intentions” and didn’t “condone hate speech.” In several follow-up tweets, he said he took “full responsibility” because his intentions were to promote unity.
Wednesday morning after Cannon’s fans and followers began to slam Viacom for its decision to cut ties with him, he wrote a lengthy Facebook post addressing the controversy.
In it Cannon said he tried more than once to reach out to Viacom owner Shari Redstone to speak to her about the company’s decision to ban all advertising that supported the Black Lives Matter movement and the company “swindled” him out of his ownership rights to “Wild ‘N Out.”
“My time at Viacom also birthed one of my other greatest creative accomplishments; their longest running comedy series and the most successful Hip Hop programming in Television History “Wild ‘N Out”. An idea in which I self-financed out my own pocket and presented to MTV. I created a billion-dollar brand that expanded across a multitiered empire that is still Viacom’s biggest digital brand, touring business, talent discovery and incubation system and successful restaurant franchise,” Cannon wrote. “Based on trust and empty promises, my ownership was swindled away from me. For Viacom to be so deceptive is no surprise; they have been mistreating and robbing our community for years, underpaying talent on their biggest brands like Love & Hip Hop, all of BET programming and of course, Wild ‘N Out.”
Cannon also apologized to the Jewish community for any pain he caused them, noting he had a Jewish business partner he loved and respected.
“I must apologize to my Jewish Brothers and Sisters for putting them in such a painful position, which was never my intention, but I know this whole situation has hurt many people and together we will make it right,” Cannon wrote.
He ended his Facebook post demanding an apology from ViacomCBS as well as full ownership rights to Wild ‘N Out.
“I demand full ownership of my billion dollar “Wild ‘N Out” brand that I created, and they will continue to misuse and destroy without my leadership! I demand that the hate and back door bullying cease and while we are at it, now that the truth is out, I demand the Apology!” Cannon wrote
A ViacomCBS spokesperson denied Cannon’s claims according to Deadline.
“It is absolutely untrue that Nick Cannon reached out to the chair of ViacomCBS,” the spokesperson said. “Due to the comedic nature of the show we believe is in question ‘Revenge Prank,’ we didn’t want to be insensitive by placing ads for it next to important and serious topics, such as Black Lives Matter. This is standard practice we use with our media agency to ensure that our ads don’t come across as tone-deaf or disrespectful.”
Cannon also said he left his job as host of NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” after being “threatened and mistreated” for years. Afterwards, he created and still hosts the hit show “The Masked Singer,” which airs on Fox. The network has yet to address Cannon’s comments.
Nick Cannon has been increasingly more outspoken about Black power, racial inequality and injustice over the years. He even delivered on his promise to complete slain rapper Nipsey Hussle’s documentary about natural healer Dr. Sebi.
Bad Boy Entertainment mogul and REVOLT TV owner Sean”Diddy” Combs invited Cannon to “come home” and assured him they had a place for him at his “truly BLACK OWNED” network.
Social media users had mixed feelings on the issue.