ViacomCBS Terminates Relationship With Nick Cannon After Anti-Semitic Rant

Helga Esteb /

Marlo Safi Culture Reporter
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Mass media company ViacomCBS has terminated its relationship with TeenNick chairman and “America’s Got Talent” host Nick Cannon after he broadcasted anti-Semitic conspiracy theories on his podcast, according to a ViacomCBS statement released Tuesday.

In a June 30 episode of “Cannon’s Class,” Cannon and rapper Professor Griff, who has a record of anti-Semitic comments, propagated anti-Semitic conspiracies about Jewish families controlling the world. A statement from a ViacomCBS spokesperson said that the company “condemns bigotry of any kind.”

“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,” the statement says. (RELATED: ‘Closer To Animals’: Nick Cannon Goes On Racist, Anti-Semitic Rant, Says ‘White People’ And Jewish People Are ‘The True Savages’)

Cannon is the chairman of TeenNick, an asset of ViacomCBS, and was part of the Nickelodeon and Viacom family since he was 16, according to a Forbes interview. At 17, Cannon was the youngest staff writer in TV history for Nickelodeon. 

“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,” the statement said.

“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,” the statement continued.

Cannon characterized people with a “lack of pigment” as “savages” and “closer to animals” who have “to rob, steal, rape, kill and fight in order to survive,” and spoke positively about Louis Farrakhan, a notorious anti-Semite. He also said that blacks are “real Hebrews.”

After backlash for the remarks, Cannon posted a statement on Facebook that read, in part, “anyone who knows me knows that I have no hatred in my heart or malicious intent. I do not tolerate hate speech or the dissemination of hate speech nor the spread of hateful rhetoric.”

“The Black and Jewish  communities have both faced enormous hatred, oppression persecution and prejudice for thousands of years and in many ways have and will continue to work together to overcome these obstacles,” he continued in the post.

Anyone who knows me knows that I have no hate in my heart nor malice intentions. I do not condone hate speech nor the…

Posted by Nick Cannon on Monday, July 13, 2020

However, after criticism for his post, which many considered a non-apology for his actions, he refused to apologize in an interview with Fast Company.

“To me apologies are empty. Are you forcing me to say the words ‘I’m sorry’? Are you making me bow down, ’cause then again, that would be perpetuating that same rhetoric that we’re trying to get away from,” Cannon says. “What we need is healing. What we need is discussion. Correct me. I don’t tell my children to say, ‘I’m sorry.’ I want them to understand where they need to be corrected. And then that’s how we grow.”