Photo Credit: Loren Javier via Flickr
Nick Cannon dances with friends.

Actor and TV host Nick Cannon late Wednesday apologized to the Jewish community for the “hurtful and divisive words that came out of my mouth,” for which he had lost his deal with ViacomCBS.

Cannon, an African American actor, comedian, rapper, director, writer, producer, and television host, made anti-Semitic comments on the June 30 episode of his podcast “Cannon’s Class,” during an interview with Professor Griff.


Richard Griffin, a.k.a. Professor Griff, is an African American is rapper, spoken word artist, and lecturer, who was a part of the Public Enemy group before they kicked him out for making anti-Semitic remarks. In 1988 Griffin told Melody Maker: “If the Palestinians took up arms, went into Israel and killed all the Jews, it’d be all right.” And in 1989, Griffin told The Washington Times: “Jews are responsible for the majority of the wickedness in the world.”

Now you know.

In the June 30 podcast, Cannon suggested Black people are the “true Hebrews” and expanded on how the Rothschild family is the root of all evil in the world. He then justified his anti-Semitism saying “it’s never hate speech, you can’t be anti-Semitic when we are the Semitic people. When we are the same people who they want to be. That’s our birthright. We are the true Hebrews.”

Naturally, the rap genius doesn’t know that Antisemitismus, the German word for anti-Semitism was first used in print in Germany in 1879 as a scientific-sounding term for Judenhass (Jew-hatred), and this has been its common use ever since. They don’t hate us and try to annihilate us because we are Semites, they just prefer their neighbors not know they hate Jews.

ViacomCBS responded swiftly as soon as the bizarre news made headlines, staeing: “ViacomCBS condemns bigotry of any kind and we categorically denounce all forms of anti-Semitism. We have spoken with Nick Cannon about an episode of his podcast ‘Cannon’s Class’ on YouTube, which promoted hateful speech and spread anti-Semitic conspiracy theories. While we support ongoing education and dialogue in the fight against bigotry, we are deeply troubled that Nick has failed to acknowledge or apologize for perpetuating anti-Semitism, and we are terminating our relationship with him. We are committed to doing better in our response to incidents of anti-Semitism, racism, and bigotry. ViacomCBS will have further announcements on our efforts to combat hate of all kinds.”

Cannon tweeted on Wednesday: “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.”

He added: “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.”

More than 5,000 years? Who taught these folks world history? Probably the same people who told them they were the true Hebrews… Which, by the way, is as racist a notion as one can imagine, seeing is anyone can be a Jew, no matter their race.

But then he went humble, which non of us, old Jewish liberals can reject, we just love a good repent: “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.”

Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Associate Dean Rabbi Abraham Cooper told The Associated Press that Cannon called him on Wednesday and they spoke on the phone for 30 minutes, during which the erring rapper apologized: “He started out the right way, he said the right things. Half an hour is a long time, and we’ll probably meet tomorrow in the LA area,” Rabbi Cooper said.

And the gran finale from Cannon on Twitter: “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.”

A baa’l tshuva, what can we say… He might just get his contract back…


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