ViacomCBS cuts ties with Nick Cannon, slams podcast comments as anti-Semitic

LOS ANGELES — ViacomCBS has parted ways with TV personality, actor and musician Nick Cannon over anti-Semitic comments he made on a recent podcast, the media company said Tuesday.

“ViacomCBS condemns bigotry of any kind, and we categorically denounce all forms of anti-Semitism,” ViacomCBS said in a statement obtained by Variety. “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.”

Canon, 39, produced "Wild 'n Out" for VH1 and has appeared on numerous Nickelodeon and MTV shows, according to "Entertainment Tonight." ViacomCBS owns all three networks. He also hosts "The Masked Singer" on Fox, which is not tied to ViacomCBS and has not commented on the controversy, The Associated Press reported.

ViacomCBS’ announcement came more than two weeks after the “Cannon’s Class” podcast’s June 30 episode, which was recorded last year, according to the AP. In the episode, Cannon spoke with rapper Richard Griffin, aka Professor Griff, who left Public Enemy after making anti-Semitic comments in 1989. Cannon referenced a conspiracy theory about the Rothschilds and called Black people “the true Hebrews,” Variety reported.

After his remarks sparked backlash, Cannon responded to critics in a Facebook post Monday.

"Anyone who knows me knows that I have no hate in my heart nor malice intentions," Cannon wrote. "I do not condone hate speech nor the spread of hateful rhetoric. We are living in a time when it is more important than ever to promote unity and understanding."

He added: "The Black and Jewish communities have both faced enormous hatred, oppression, persecution and prejudice for thousands of years and in many ways have and will continue to work together to overcome these obstacles."

Anyone who knows me knows that I have no hate in my heart nor malice intentions. I do not condone hate speech nor the...

Posted by Nick Cannon on Monday, July 13, 2020

In its announcement Tuesday, ViacomCBS said it is "committing to doing better" when responding "to incidents of anti-Semitism, racism and bigotry."

“ViacomCBS will have further announcements on our efforts to combat hate of all kinds,” the statement concluded.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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