Nick Cannon and ViacomCBS are back in business together. Following Cannon’s apologies after making anti-Semitic remarks last year, they will continue to team up for Wild ‘n Out. The company initially severed ties with Cannon and it looked like the show would no longer continue.
“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,” said Cannon, who is quarantining after testing positive for COVID-19, said in a statement via Deadline.
“Nick has not only apologized and taken responsibility for his comments, but he has also worked to educate himself and others through engagement with Jewish leaders and on his platforms,” an MTV Entertainment Group said to Variety. “Those efforts are of the utmost importance and that’s why we have invited him to rejoin our team. On a separate note, we just learned that he tested positive for COVID and have reached out to wish him a speedy recovery.”
In the podcast episode that started the controversy, talked about anti-Semitic conspiracy theories such as those involving Rothschild family. The episode’s guest was Professor Griff, who was a part of rap group Public Enemy before leaving the group after making anti-Semitic remarks of his own.
“The people that don’t have [melanin] are a little less,” he said in part. “They may not have the compassion when they were sent to the mountains of Caucasus when they didn’t have the power of the sun. The sun then started to deteriorate them so then, they’re acting out of fear, they’re acting out of low self-esteem, they’re acting out of a deficiency. So, therefore, the only way that they can act is evil. They have to rob, steal, rape, kill in order to survive. So then, these people that didn’t have what we have…and when I say we…I speak of the melanated people, they had to be savages. They had to be barbaric because they’re in these Nordic mountains. They’re acting as animals, so they’re the ones that are actually closer to animals. They’re the ones that are actually the true savages.”
“It’s never hate speech, you can’t be anti-Semitic when we are the Semitic people,” he continued. “When we are the same people who they want to be. That’s our birthright. We are the true Hebrews.”
As Variety notes, “Cannon has earned praise in recent months from Jewish leaders for partnering with Jewish community organizations against anti-Semitism,” including co-writing an op-ed in the Jewish paper the Foward on the Charlottesville rally anniversary. The op-ed talked about Black and Jewish solidarity. Cannon also visited the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Museum of Tolerance and pledged a make a donation.
“He appears to be someone who’s genuine in his desire to make sure people understand his apology,” Wiesenthal Center associate dean Rabbi Abraham Cooper said at the time to the Associated Press, as reported by Variety. Other Jewish leaders, such as Rabbi Noam E. Marans. Marans of the American Jewish Committee and Rabbi Motti Seligson of Chabad Lubavitch World Headquarters have also given their support to Cannon.
This news comes as his syndicated daytime talk show through Lionsgate’s Debmar-Mercury is back on track for a premiere later this year. Cannon also hosts The Masked Singer, which is has Niecy Nash filling in while he quarantines.