Nick Cannon and ViacomCBS are restoring their partnership after the TV host apologized for anti-Semitic comments that led to his termination last y
Nick Cannon and ViacomCBS are restoring their partnership after the TV host apologized for anti-Semitic comments that led to his termination last year.
Nearly seven months after cutting ties, the company announced the VH1 sketch-comedy series “Wild ‘N Out” will resume production with Cannon as host.
In a statement to USA TODAY Friday, MTV Entertainment Group said Cannon has “taken responsibility for his comments” and “worked to educate himself” through conversations with Jewish leaders.
“I want to assure my Jewish friends, new and old, that this is only the beginning of my education,” Cannon said in his public apology last July. “I am committed to deeper connections, more profound learning and strengthening the bond between our two cultures today and every day going forward.”
Cannon, 40, has been in business with ViacomCBS since 1998, including stints on Nickelodeon’s “All That” and “The Nick Cannon Show.” “Wild ‘N Out” has aired on Viacom’s MTV and VH1 since 2005.
Nick Cannon has talk show postponed, meets with rabbi after anti-Semitic comments
Cannon came under fire for a controversial discussion on his “Cannon’s Class” podcast with Richard “Professor Griff” Griffin, a former member of Public Enemy who was fired for making anti-Semitic remarks in 1989. During the discussion, Cannon promoted anti-Semitic conspiracy theories and praised Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.
His discussion was removed by YouTube for violating the platform’s “policy on hate speech.” The Southern Poverty Law Center recognizes Nation of Islam as a “hate group.”
ViacomCBS fired Cannon and immediately condemned his remarks, saying it “denounces all forms of anti-Semitism.
“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,” the network’s statement added.
After initially refusing to apologize and demanding ownership of “Wild ‘N Out,” which ViacomCBS controls, Cannon apologized on Twitter for “the hurtful and divisive words that came out of my mouth.” He also announced time away from his radio program and his upcoming talk show was pushed back.
The company said Cannon met with Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s associate dean, and Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, among others, to understand the hurt he caused by making anti-Semitic remarks.
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Fox stuck by Cannon through the controversy, and kept him as the host of “The Masked Singer.” However, Cannon is currently sidelined from his hosting duties after testing positive for COVID-19 this week.
Niecy Nash will fill in as host for Cannon early in the fifth season of “The Masked Singer,” which is set to premiere in March. Cannon is expected to return later in the season.
MTV Entertainment Group wished Cannon a “speedy recovery.”
Contributing: Charles Trepany, Andrea Mandell
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