Nick Cannon doesn't think DaBaby should be canceled: 'Mob rule has never worked'
Following the 29-year-old rapper's homophobic and factually inaccurate remarks regarding the health of people living with HIV and AIDS at Miami's Rolling Loud music festival on July 25, the Masked Singer host — who was fired from his post on the comedy improv show Wild 'N Out in July 2020 after making anti-Semitic remarks about Jewish people on his Cannon's Class podcast and YouTube show — appeared on Monday's episode of The Breakfast Club, during which he called for the public's patience in handling the controversy surrounding DaBaby.
"First of all, I think not only in the Black community — and I've experienced it — but definitely just men a lot of times, we have that ego. We believe apologizing is weakness when it actually takes great strength to step up to anyone and say, 'I was wrong,'" he said around the 53-minute mark in the video, admitting that, though he agrees that DaBaby's statements were incorrect, he thinks he would benefit from a period of "growth" similar to what Cannon experienced after the "misunderstanding" of his own situation.
"I know Baby. And that's a strong brother... That man just lost his pops, his brother, all the things that he [has been through] and still to have that big smile that he has every day, knowing everything that he comes [from]? I grew up in Charlotte [for] part of my life — I know that life," Cannon continued. "He a fighter. We've seen his back against the wall. He's swinging. He's swinging just so he could get out of.... We all have to accept emotion."
He added that apologizing "is an action," and that repenting or atoning is "next-level" because it involves patience and understanding, along with education. But he doesn't think the responsibility should fall solely on DaBaby's shoulders.
"I challenge all these people who actually want to cancel somebody, and even specifically in DaBaby's situation, let's use this as an opportunity for education. Because that's what happened in my scenario to where I still stuck true to the truths. [My minister] told me that I don't ever want falsehood to come out of my mouth, so if I'm saying something that is not correct about your community, show me where I'm incorrect. Correct me," he said, noting that "institutionalized" discrimination could be ingrained in someone like DaBaby's mind.
"If I'm saying these things about the LGBTQIA community, show me where I'm wrong," he said. "Not only is that going to help me, but you're going to help so many other people who think like me. There are so many DaBabys out there."
Cannon further stressed that he doesn't agree with the mentality behind the growing list of music festivals dropping DaBaby from their rosters, because they're enforcing "mob rule" when "mob rule has never worked in any society," and that it all amounts to a collective fear "that the dollar will be snatched away" versus genuine concern for social justice.
"This is a moment where we should all gather around DaBaby and embrace him because if we can do that, watch how many mentalities will change in the hip-hop community," Cannon concluded. "I guarantee you he'd sit down and talk with Madonna. I guarantee you he'd sit down and talk with Elton John. And it wouldn't be for the bag. He good!"
Cannon's sentiment echoes a similar one shared by queer pop star and community ally Miley Cyrus, who spoke out against social media and the internet being "the nucleus of cancel culture" amid the incident, and offered to speak to DaBaby to reach common ground on the issue.
Others, including longtime LGBTQIA+ community members and allies like GLAAD, Madonna, Elton John, Jonathan Van Ness, and the performer's "Levitating" collaborator Dua Lipa, have spoken out against him, while multiple major events like Lollapalooza and the iHeartRadio Music Festival subsequently dropped the performer from their lineups.
Additionally, 11 national LGBTQ and HIV/AIDS organizations released an open letter to DaBaby last week, in which they requested a private meeting to go over facts about HIV and AIDS, and urged him to share the information with his followers.
"We heard your inaccurate and harmful comments at Rolling Loud and have read your Instagram apology," the statement reads, referencing DaBaby's poorly received (and since-deleted) statement addressing the backlash. "However, at a time when HIV continues to disproportionately impact Black Americans and queer and transgender people of color, a dialogue is critical. We must address the miseducation about HIV, expressed in your comments, and the impact it has on various communities."
During his set at the event, DaBaby lauded male attendees for not "sucking d---" at the show: "If you didn't show up today with HIV, AIDS, or any of them deadly sexually transmitted diseases that'll make you die in two to three weeks, then put your cellphone lighter up," he said to the crowd.
Watch Cannon's full interview on The Breakfast Club above.
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