The popular U.S. TV host and actor Nick Cannon has been fired by ViacomCBS for promoting what the media company just yesterday claimed to be a hateful speech which spread anti-Semitic conspiracy theories on a recent podcast.
Cannon responded shortly thereafter, saying that he had tried to contact Shari Redstone, the chair of ViacomCBS, to reconcile and “actually apologize if I said anything that pained or hurt her or her community.”
His efforts were met with “Dead Silence,” he posted on Facebook. Yet, a Viacom spokesman responded: “It is untrue that Nick Cannon reached out to the Chair of ViacomCBS.”
The “hateful” speech came within a June 30 interview on his “Cannon’s Class” podcast with Richard “Professor Griff” Griffin, who left the rap group Public Enemy after telling The Washington Times in 1989 that “the Jews are wicked. And we can prove this.”
On the podcast, Griffin made the unsubstantiated claim often asserted by hate groups that Jews control the music industry and the media. However, Cannon immediately responded to Griffin’s comments, saying: “You’re just saying what you’re saying, you’re speaking facts.”
In a statement, Viacom also said that its executives spoke with Cannon about his comments on the podcast, which it said “promoted hateful speech and spread anti-Semitic conspiracy theories” and were available on both Cannon’s YouTube channel and Spotify.
“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,” ViacomCBS spokesman Justin Dini declared in the statement.
Cannon, whose relationship with ViacomCBS has included being the host and executive producer of “The Masked Singer” on Fox, NBC’s “America’s Got Talent”, shows on Nickelodeon and executive producer of the MTV comedy show “Wild ‘N Out,” disputed the statement, claiming that he sought on two occasions a meeting “to reconcile the situation.”
“I must apologize to my Jewish brothers and sisters for putting them in such a painful position,” Cannon posted on Facebook, adding that he had received an “outpouring of love and support from the Jewish community.”
He also expressed his disappointment saying “that Viacom does not understand or respect the power of the black community.”