Radio host Charlamagne tha God said Wednesday that he believes Nick Cannon was fired by ViacomCBS because Jewish people “have the power” in the media landscape.
“Listen, Nick is my guy. I hate it had to be him, but that’s what you can do when you have the power. And if there’s one thing Jewish people have showed us, it’s they have the power,” he said during Wednesday’s broadcast of the radio show The Breakfast Club. “I can’t wait until the day black people are able to fire people for saying things about us that we deem racist. We can barely get cops fired for actually killing us!”
ViacomCBS canceled Cannon’s contract after the actor and television host “failed to acknowledge or apologize for perpetuating anti-Semitism” on an episode of his podcast, Cannon’s Class, which was recorded last year but reposted by Cannon last week. During the episode, which included an interview with Richard Griffin of the hip hop group “Public Enemy,” Cannon praised Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan and riffed on conspiracy theories about Jewish people and “centralized banking, the bloodlines that control everything — even outside of America.” He also said that he could not be anti-Semitic since black people are the real Semitic people.
Griffin, known as Professor Griff, was ousted from Public Enemy in 1989 after making several anti-Semitic remarks, including calling Jews “wicked.”
After the backlash over his remarks, Cannon excoriated ViacomCBS, which produced Cannon’s “Wild ‘n Out” comedy show on MTV, in a Twitter thread.
“I will not be bullied, silenced, or continuously oppressed by any organization, group, or corporation,” Cannon said. “I am disappointed that Viacom does not understand or respect the power of the black community.”
Cannon also offered an apology of sorts in which he said he has no “malice” “or “hate in my heart” and invited his critics to “hold me accountable,” adding that, “Black and Jewish communities have both faced enormous hatred, oppression, persecution and prejudice for thousands of years.”
“In today’s conversation about anti-racism and social justice, I think we all — including myself — must continue educating one another and embrace uncomfortable conversations — it’s the only way we ALL get better,” Cannon said. “I encourage more healthy dialogue and welcome any experts, clergy, or spokespersons to any of my platforms to hold me accountable and correct me in any statement that I’ve made that has been projected as negative.”
Despite the controversy, Cannon will keep his job as host of Fox’s “The Masked Singer,” Fox announced, saying the network “immediately began a dialogue” with Cannon after it was made aware of his remarks.
“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,” Fox said.