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US TV host fired by MTV owner in anti-Semitism row

Written by on July 16, 2020

Nick Cannon has been fired from his MTV show Wild ‘N Out and other work for the channel’s parent company, which said he had promoted anti-Semitic comments.

ViacomCBS said a recent episode of his podcast Cannon’s Class “promoted hateful speech and spread anti-Semitic conspiracy theories”.

In response, he said he does “not condone hate speech”, and hit out at an “oppressive and racist infrastructure”.

The star also presents The Masked Singer, which is made by Fox.

He created Wild ‘N Out, an improv series that has had 15 series, but which will now come to an end.

He has also hosted a string of shows for the ViacomCBS-owned Nickelodeon channel over more than 20 years, and was named chairman of spin-off TeenNick in 2009.

In a statement, the company said: “ViacomCBS condemns bigotry of any kind and we categorically denounce all forms of anti-Semitism.”

It added: “While we support ongoing education and dialogue in the fight against bigotry, we are deeply troubled that Nick has failed to acknowledge or apologise for perpetuating anti-Semitism, and we are terminating our relationship with him.”

In the 30 June episode of Cannon’s Class, the presenter interviewed former Public Enemy rapper Professor Griff, who left the group in 1989 after saying Jews were “wicked”.

Professor Griff claimed to Cannon that he was talking about Jews controlling the media, and said: “I’m hated now because I told the truth.” Cannon added: “You’re speaking facts.”

The presenter called Professor Griff a “legend”. He also said the “Semitic people are black people”, and that: “You can’t be anti-Semitic when we are the Semitic people.”

On Wednesday, Cannon took to social media to issue an apology but also to demand one from ViacomCBS, which he said was “now on the wrong side of history”.

He wrote: “I don’t blame any individual, I blame the oppressive and racist infrastructure.

“Systemic racism is what this world was built on and was the subject in which I was attempting to highlight in the recent clips that have been circulating from my podcast. If I have furthered the hate speech, I wholeheartedly apologise.”

But he added: “I demand full ownership of my billion dollar Wild ‘N Out brand that I created, and they will continue to misuse and destroy without my leadership!

“I demand that the hate and back door bullying cease and while we are at it, now that the truth is out, I demand the Apology!”

Cannon was also criticised for comments that suggested white people were “less” than black people.

The star hosted America’s Got Talent on NBC from 2009 to 2016, hosts a morning radio show for KPWR in Los Angeles, and is due to launch a daytime talk show in September. He is also the former husband of singer Mariah Carey.


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