ViacomCBS Fires Nick Cannon, Citing Anti-Semitic Podcast Remarks

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The television star Nick Cannon was fired by ViacomCBS on Tuesday for making anti-Semitic remarks during a recent podcast in which he discussed conspiracy theories about Jewish people and praised a minister notorious for anti-Jewish comments.

ViacomCBS is the parent company of MTV and the cable channel TeenNick, both of which prominently showcased Mr. Cannon for years on various platforms.

Mr. Cannon, 39, had worked as an executive producer and chairman of TeenNick, a spinoff of the network Nickelodeon geared toward teenagers. He had also been a host and executive producer of the MTV comedy show “Wild ’N Out.”

A ViacomCBS spokeswoman said in a statement that the company categorically denounced 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,” the statement said. “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.”

In a tweet on Monday, Mr. Cannon said, “Anyone who knows me knows that I have no hate in my heart nor malice intentions.”

A representative for Mr. Cannon did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Tuesday night.

Mr. Cannon, an actor and a musician, is also a host on the Fox show “The Masked Singer.” It was not immediately clear if Mr. Cannon’s relationship with the network was being re-evaluated. Fox did not respond to requests for comment on Tuesday night.

Mr. Cannon’s dismissal by ViacomCBS came after the star wide receiver DeSean Jackson was fined and disciplined by the Philadelphia Eagles last week for sharing an anti-Semitic quotation attributed to Hitler.

On the June 30 episode of the podcast, Mr. Cannon was interviewing the rapper Richard Griffin, known as Professor Griff, about his dismissal from the hip-hop group Public Enemy in 1989.

Mr. Griffin left the group after he said in an interview with The Washington Times: “The Jews are wicked. And we can prove this.” He also said that Jews were responsible for “the majority of wickedness that goes on across the globe.”

Speaking to Mr. Cannon, Mr. Griffin doubled down on his past remarks about the influence of Jewish people on the music and media industries.

“I’m hated now because I told the truth,” Mr. Griffin said.

“You’re speaking facts,” Mr. Cannon said. “There’s no reason to be scared of anything when you’re speaking the truth.”

Mr. Cannon said it was an honor to have the “legend” Mr. Griffin on his podcast. He also said it was a shame that Louis Farrakhan, a minister known for his history of anti-Semitic comments, had been silenced on Facebook.

Responding to Mr. Griffin’s contention that six dominant media companies were controlled by Jewish people, Mr. Cannon said it was comparable to the power of the Rothschilds, the banking scions who are a focus of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories.

“I find myself wanting to debate this idea and it gets real wishy and washy and unclear for me when we give so much power to the ‘theys,’ and ‘theys’ then turn into illuminati, the Zionists, the Rothchilds,” Mr. Cannon said later in the podcast.

He also echoed Mr. Griffin’s remarks about how Black people are Semitic people by definition and that Semitic people are not white.

“You can’t be anti-Semitic when we are the Semitic people,” Mr. Cannon said. “That’s our birthright. So if that’s truly our birthright, there’s no hate involved.”



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