ViacomCBS has ended its decades long relationship with Nick Cannon after he made comments deemed anti-Semitic on his “Cannon's Class” podcast. According to TMZ, the company said in a statement, “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 statement continued, “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.”
During the June 30th episode, Cannon interviewed Professor Griff of the iconic rap group Public Enemy. Weeks later, Nick started trending after a clip of him referring to white and Jewish people as “the true savages” started circulating on social media. He was discussing the power White and Jewish people have and the ways they've treated “melanated” people.
He explained, “Our melanin is so powerful and it connects us in a way that the reason why White people fear us is because of the lack that they have of it. When you have a person that has the lack of pigment, the lack of melanin, they know that they will be annihilated. So, therefore, however they got the power, they have the lack of compassion. Melanin comes with compassion, melanin comes with soul.”
He continued, “The people that don't have melanin are a little less… They may not have the compassion when they were sent to the mountains of Caucasus when they didn't have the power of the Sun. The Sun then started to deteriorate them so then, they're acting out of fear, they're acting out of low self-esteem, they're acting out of a deficiency. 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.”
NICK CLARIFIES HIS STATEMENT
After receiving mixed reactions to his comments, Cannon released a statement via his Facebook page, saying that he condemns hate speech. He said, “Anyone who knows me knows that I have no hate in my heart nor malice intentions. 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. 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.”
When some challenged him, saying that he didn't apologize, he told Fast Company that apologies are empty and discussions and healing are needed. He said, “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.”