“I extend my deepest and most sincere apologies to my Jewish sisters and brothers for the hurtful and divisive words that came out of my mouth during my interview with Richard Griffin,” Cannon wrote.
“They reinforced the worst stereotypes of a proud and magnificent people and I feel ashamed of the uninformed and naïve place that these words came from,” he continued. “The video of this interview has since been removed.”
“On my podcast I used words and referenced literature I assumed to be factual to uplift my community, but instead turned out to be hateful propaganda and stereotypical rhetoric that pained another community,” Cannon said in his apology. “For this I am deeply sorry, but now together we can write a new chapter of healing.”
On the podcast, which was released June 30, Cannon and Griffin, the former Public Enemy member, contend that Jews have stolen Black people’s identity as true Hebrews. Cannon also implies that those with light skin are inferior.
Cannon referred to teachings from Louis Farrakhan, who is considered anti-Semitic by the Southern Poverty Law Center, and a conspiracy theory about the Rothschild family deemed anti-Semitic by the Anti-Defamation League.
Cannon initially took to social media on Monday to say he does not “condone hate speech nor the spread of hateful rhetoric.” Cannon said he took full responsibility for his comments, but stopped short of a full apology, instead asking experts to “correct me in any statement that I’ve made that has been projected as negative.”
This prompted ViacomCBS to act. “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 company said Tuesday in a statement.
Cannon pushed back against ViacomCBS’ statement, claiming he received no response from company chair Shari Redstone after attempting to reach out. He also called for “full ownership” of “Wild ‘n Out,” which he created and hosted. “Wild ‘n Out” airs on VH1, a ViacomCBS-owned cable channel.
ViacomCBS has yet to issue a response to Cannon’s apology.
ViacomCBS is the parent company of CBS News.
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