It’s been an intense few days for Nick Cannon. The popular host found himself at the center of a national conversation on race and anti-Semitism earlier this week when portions of a podcast interview he conducted with ex-Public Enemy member Professor Griff went viral in which he discussed melanin as an indicator of behavior, said Black people are the “true Hebrews” and referenced a conspiracy theory about the Rothschild family. He was fired by Viacom on Tuesday night for “promot(ing) hateful speech.” Now he’s fired back with an extended social media post, which demands full ownership of his show Wild ‘N Out and accuses Viacom of lying and trying to silence him.
The extended letter, which was posted to Facebook and can be read here, touches on Cannon’s more than twenty year relationship with Viacom. In it, he discusses the various highs and lows he had with the company, acknowledges executives who helped him along the way, demands to be given ownership over Wild ‘N Out and ultimately accuses executives of hanging him out to dry. Here’s a portion of his message…
The comments he’s referring to came during a podcast episode of Cannon’s Class featuring Professor Griff, who left Public Enemy amidst an anti-Semitism controversy in the late 80s. During the more than hour long conversation, the two discussed a variety of issues, but the backlash has mostly focused on two segments: one in which the two referenced Melanin Theory and one in which they discussed anti-Semitism. Melanin Theory is pseudoscientific belief that melanin, which is a natural pigmentation that gives skin its color, is also at least partially a predictor of actions or behaviors. It’s considered by many to be a branch of Scientific Racism.
The podcast conversation around anti-Semitism covered a lot of sub-topics, but during it, Cannon said “it’s never hate speech. You can’t be anti-Semitic when you are the Semitic people. When we are the same people who they want to be. That’s our birthright. We are the true Hebrews.” The conversation also touched on some anti-Semitic conspiracy theories including bloodlines, centralized banking and the Rothschilds. Many of these theories have been making the rounds lately, and the topic was addressed recently in a thoughtful editorial from NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
In Cannon’s open letter, however, he expresses a desire to be learn more and praised the “outpouring of love and support” he’s gotten from the Jewish community. He also says he’s invested in “making it right” and is planning a trip to Israel to receive “lessons” and “truth” about Jewish history. You can read that portion of his letter below…
Where things go from here is anyone’s guess. Fox, which is working with him on launching a talk show and broadcasts The Masked Singer, has not made any public comment about what happened on Cannon’s podcast. Viacom has also not responded to their ex-employee’s calls here to turn over Wild ‘N Out. Society, as a whole, has been wrestling with questions around forgiveness, cancel culture and education as many have protested in the streets for social justice and change. We’ll keep you updated as this story develops.
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Mack Rawden is the Editor-In-Chief of CinemaBlend. He first started working at the publication as a writer back in 2007 and has held various jobs at the site in the time since including Managing Editor, Pop Culture Editor and Staff Writer. He now splits his time between working on CinemaBlend’s user experience, helping to plan the site’s editorial direction and writing passionate articles about niche entertainment topics he’s into. He graduated from Indiana University with a degree in English (go Hoosiers!) and has been interviewed and quoted in a variety of publications including Digiday. Enthusiastic about Clue, case-of-the-week mysteries, a great wrestling promo and cookies at Disney World. Less enthusiastic about the pricing structure of cable, loud noises and Tuesdays.