Minus those who may have been intentionally avoiding entertainment news in recent days, just about everyone has been made aware of Nick Cannon's anti-Semitic opinions and other racially charged comments stated during a taping of his podcast Cannon's Class. Not only has he faced a backlash on social media, but Cannon got fired from his long-lasting partnership with CBSViacom. Many have wondered whether or not he would continue to be the on-stage host for Fox's The Masked Singer, and the show has now released a statement about the situation following Cannon's online apologies.
Fox and The Masked Singer were not part of the first wave of reactions to Nick Cannon's hurtful statements on his podcast, but the network finally got its thoughts together on Wednesday evening in the aftermath of Cannon's back-and-forth with ViacomCBS. Here's what Fox's statement had to say (via TVLine):
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. 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.
While that statement wasn't the most clear and direct about what the future may hold, it seems pretty clear at this point that The Masked Singer will be welcoming Nick Cannon back as host for Season 4 and beyond, unless follow-up statements say otherwise, of course. The rather vague wording could indeed be a way of dousing the flames of the backlash while still giving itself enough leeway to remove Cannon from The Masked Singer at a later point if the pressure builds up. Or maybe Fox's execs really were fully convinced by Cannon's apologetic social media posts.
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. 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.
The episode of Cannon's Class in question featured guest Professor Griff, who was notably booted from the rap group Public Enemy decades ago over his anti-Semitic views. Beyond the conversation points that disparaged the Jewish community – which saw Nick Cannon calling Black people the "true Hebrews" – Cannon and Griff also spoke about the pseudoscientific Melanin Theory and touched upon other unproven conspiracy theories that drive racially charged viewpoints.
So for now, it looks like Nick Cannon saved his job at Fox and will still be around to introduce costumed mystery celebrities on The Masked Singer, which has been a ratings hit for Fox since its premiere. Cannon also hosted the quarantine-inspired program After the Mask, in which he spoke with just-eliminated contestants about their experiences on the show.
For now, The Masked Singer doesn't have a fourth season lined up, with production lockdowns still in place, but you can bet that Fox is trying to figure out ways to get back to filming as soon as the industry can work freely again. All three seasons of The Masked Singer can currently be streamed on Hulu. And for those wondering what shows are debuting in the coming months, head to our Fall 2020 TV premiere schedule.