Nick Cannon dropped by ViacomCBS for spreading '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," read a statement from ViacomCBS.
ViacomCBS is cutting ties with Nick Cannon, saying the host "failed to acknowledge or apologize" for spreading "anti-Semitic conspiracy theories." This means he'll no longer be a part of the conglomerate's long-running improv series Wild 'N Out, which he hosted and executive produced on VH1.
"ViacomCBS condemns bigotry of any kind and we categorically denounce all forms of anti-Semitism," read a statement from the company obtained by EW. "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."
The statement continued, "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."
Cannon came under fire for comments made during a 90-minute interview he conducted with former Public Enemy member Richard “Professor Griff” Griffin, who was fired from the group for making anti-Semitic remarks in a 1989 interview with the Washington Post. During his interview with Griffin, Cannon referenced numerous conspiracy theories about Jewish people, like that Jewish "bloodlines ... control everything," while denying the comments were hateful.
The host, who also emcees Fox's The Masked Singer, has twice responded to the backlash but did not issue apologies in either message. "I have no hate in my heart nor malice intentions," Cannon wrote in a Facebook post on Monday. He also said he held himself "accountable for this moment."
Later this week, he told Fast Company that "apologies are empty."
"Are you forcing me to say the words ‘I’m sorry’? Are you making me bow down, ’cause then again, that would be perpetuating that same rhetoric that we’re trying to get away from,” Cannon said in the interview.
The statement from ViacomCBS concluded with: "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.”
With Cannon having such a large presence on TV, it's unknown yet how other networks will proceed. He recently debuted his reality show Celebrity Call Center on E!, which is part of NBCUniversal, and The Masked Singer is expected to return later this year on Fox.
Reps for Cannon and NBCUniversal did not immediately respond to EW's request for comment. Fox declined to make a comment at this time.