Nick Cannon to stay on at 'The Masked Singer' after apologizing for anti-Semitic comments

Raechal Shewfelt
Editor, Yahoo Entertainment

Nick Cannon will be staying on as host of Fox’s The Masked Singer but will take time away from his radio show after making anti-Semitic comments. 

While the TV host and actor was dropped by ViacomCBS on Wednesday for what he said during the June 30 episode of his podcast, Cannon’s Class, Fox, home of the popular reality competition stood by him in a statement to Yahoo Entertainment.

“When we were made aware of Nick Cannon’s interview with Richard Griffin on YouTube, we immediately began a dialogue with Nick. He is clear and remorseful that his words were wrong and lacked both understanding and context, and inadvertently promoted hate,” the statement read. “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 Masked Singer finished its third season in May and is expected to return in the fall.

In the meantime, Cannon said Thursday he’s also “taking time away” from Nick Cannon Mornings, the nationally syndicated radio program he hosts on Meruelo Media’s Los Angeles-based KPWR-FM “Power 106.”

Skyview Networks, which distributes the show nationwide, agreed with the move.

“Nick Cannon has begun a period of self-reflection to address the pain he caused, and while we recognize his apology, this time is needed to establish an action plan towards real change and advocacy,” the company said in a statement. “During this period, production of the Nick Cannon Radio show will pause. Skyview Networks values all communities and faiths and we expect all programs and personalities we syndicate to adhere to these principles.”

Cannon’s guest on the problematic podcast was rapper Professor Griff (real name: Richard Griffin), who once caused controversy of his own with anti-Semitic statements he made when he was part of Public Enemy.

Cannon discussed conspiracy theories and said Black people are the “true Hebrews.”

“It’s never hate speech, you can’t be anti-Semitic when we are the Semitic people,” Cannon said. “When we are the same people who they want to be. That’s our birthright. We are the true Hebrews.”

In a statement, ViacomCBS said, in part, that Cannon had “promoted hateful speech.”

Cannon has since addressed his comments on social media. His latest statement on it, posted Wednesday night, was a direct apology to his “Jewish sisters and brothers” for his “hateful and divisive words,” and he said the past few days had been a history lesson that he planned to continue.

(Photo: Instagram)

At the same time, Cannon accused ViacomCBS, for which he produces and stars in long-running TV series Wild ’N Out, of not respecting or understanding the Black community. He insisted they give him ownership of the show he created. “I created a billion-dollar brand that expanded across a multitiered empire that is still Viacom’s biggest digital brand, touring business, talent discovery and incubation system and successful restaurant franchise,” Cannon said. “Based on trust and empty promises, my ownership was swindled away from me. For Viacom to be so deceptive is no surprise; they have been mistreating and robbing our community for years, underpaying talent on their biggest brands like Love & Hip Hop, all of BET programming and of course, Wild ’N Out.”

Still, he has many other projects in the works, including a daytime TV show set to debut in September. Producers Debmar-Mercury, who are working on Nick Cannon, declined to comment when contacted by Yahoo Entertainment.

On the big screen, Cannon is expected to provide the voice of the main character in the upcoming animated flick Pierre the Pigeon-Hawk. He’ll join Pierce Brosnan and Jamie Chung in the live-action heist movie The Misfits. The companies behind those projects did not immediately respond to questions about Cannon’s continued involvement.

Cannon received some public support after ViacomCBS’s announcement, most notably from Sean “Diddy” Combs, who invited him to join his Revolt TV.

NBA star Dwyane Wade tweeted in favor of Cannon too, at first. He originally wrote, “We are with you. Keep leading.” However, he later revised his statement.

This story was originally published July 15 at 5 p.m.

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