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Nick Cannon To Remain As Host Of Fox’s ‘The Masked Singer’ After He Apologizes Over Anti-Semitic Comments

Deadline logo Deadline 7/16/2020 Nellie Andreeva
Nick Cannon standing on a stage © Michael Becker/Fox

Nick Cannon will continue in his role as host of Fox’s The Masked Singer, one of the most high-profile hosting jobs in broadcast TV, after he issued a lengthy apology over controversial comments he had made recently on his podcast, saying that he feels “ashamed of the uninformed and naïve place that these words came from.”

In light of the apology, Fox is standing by the host.

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“When we were made aware of Nick Cannon’s interview with Richard Griffin on YouTube, we immediately began a dialogue with Nick,” Fox said in a statement Wednesday night. “He is clear and remorseful that his words were wrong and lacked both understanding and context, and inadvertently promoted hate. This was important for us to observe. Nick has sincerely apologized, and quickly taken steps to educate himself and make amends. On that basis and given a belief that this moment calls for dialogue, we will move forward with Nick and help him advance this important conversation, broadly. Fox condemns all forms of hate directed toward any community and we will combat bigotry of any kind.”

The news comes after ViacomCBS severed ties with Cannon on Tuesday night over his espousal of what it called “hateful speech and…anti-Semitic conspiracy theories,” saying it was “deeply troubled that Nick has failed to acknowledge or apologize for perpetuating anti-Semitism, and we are terminating our relationship with him.” Cannon was defiant Wednesday morning, demanding an apology from ViacomCBS, as well as “full ownership of my billion dollar Wild ‘N Out brand.”

Tonight, he was contrite in his apology, which was posted on Twitter shortly before Fox’s statement came out.

“First and foremost 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. 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. The video of this interview has since been removed,” Cannon said.

Video: Nick Cannon Apologizes for Anti-Semitic Comments in Podcast | THR News (The Hollywood Reporter)

Nick Cannon Apologizes for Anti-Semitic Comments in Podcast | THR News
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“While the Jewish experience encompasses more than 5,000 years and there is so much I have yet to learn, I have had at least a minor history lesson over the past few days and to say that it is eye-opening would be a vast understatement.”

“I want to express my gratitude to the Rabbis, community leaders and institutions who reached out to me to help enlighten me, instead of chastising me. I want to assure my Jewish friends, new and old, that this is only the beginning of my education—I am committed to deeper connections, more profound learning and strengthening the bond between our two cultures today and every day going forward.”

In addition to his hosting job on The Masked Singer, Lionsgate’s Debmar-Mercury has Nick Cannon, a new nationally syndicated daytime talk show hosted by Cannon, slated for a Sept. 21 launch. He remains a client of CAA.

On the now-deleted recent episode of his podcast Cannon’s Class, Cannon discussed race and racism with former Public Enemy member Richard “Professor Griff” Griffin. Referencing the ideas of Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, Cannon said that people who have “the lack of pigment” are “a little less” than those who do, and have “a lack of compassion.”

He continued, “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 they can act is evil. They have to rob, steal, rape and [unintelligible] in order to survive.”

Cannon also spoused anti-Semitic conspiracy theories about The Rothschilds and “the bloodlines that control everything, even outside of America.” He said that Black people are the “true Hebrews.”

Despite efforts to explain his words Monday, ViacomCBS parted ways with Cannon last night; in 2019, Cannon’s comedy improv competition series Wild ‘n Out was renewed for three more seasons by the the company’s VH1 network.

The Masked Singer wrapped its third season May 20 with a 2.3 rating in the adults 18-49 demographic for the finale, making it the highest-rated series in the broadcast primetime landscape during the 2019-2020 season. The show has been renewed for Season 4, with Cannon fronting the celebrity competition series for the entire run alongside main judges Ken Jeong, Jenny McCarthy, Nicole Scherzinger and Robin Thicke.


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