Nick Cannon was trending yesterday (July 14) for comments he made about race and ethnicity. Now, his relationship with ViacomCBS has been terminated.
In a June 30 YouTube video, Cannon spoke with former Public Enemy member Richard “Professor Griff” Griffin, who was reportedly kicked out of the group for anti-Semitic remarks made in 1989.
Cannon said white and Jewish people in positions of power have a “lack of compassion” because they do not have melanin and “they’re acting out of fear, they’re acting out of low self-esteem, they’re acting out of a deficiency.”
The former Wild 'n Out host continued, “So, therefore, the only way that they can act is evil. They have to rob, steal, rape, kill in order to survive. So then, these people that didn’t have what we have – and when I say we, I speak of the melanated people – they had to be savages.”
He also added, “I say all that to say, the context in which we speak, whether it’s Jewish people, white people, Europeans, the illuminati, they were doing that as survival tactics to stay on the planet. We never had to do that.”
Cannon also claimed Black people are “the true Hebrews” and pushed antisemitic conspiracy theories, like “the Rothschilds, centralised banking, the 13 families, the bloodlines that control everything even outside of America.”
After the backlash, Cannon declined to apologize in an interview with Fast Company, “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. What we need is healing. What we need is discussion. Correct me. I don’t tell my children to say, ‘I’m sorry.’ I want them to understand where they need to be corrected. And then that’s how we grow.”
ViacomCBS, who has worked with Nick Cannon for approximately 20 years, released the following statement early this morning (July 15), "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."