HOLLYWOOD—After working together for over a decade, ViacomCBS cut ties with actor and TV host Nick Cannon, 39, for discussing anti-Semitic conspiracy theories on a recent episode of his YouTube show “Cannon’s Class.”
On the episode, which featured hip-hop figure Professor Griff, Cannon agreed with Griff’s views that Jewish people controlled the media, connecting it to the power of the Rothschild family. Cannon said that Griff was “speaking facts.”
Cannon and Griff praised Louis Farrakhan, the leader of the Nation of Islam, who is cited by the Southern Poverty Law Center as being “an antisemite who routinely accuses Jews of manipulating the U.S. government and controlling the levers of world power.”
The actor claimed his comments weren’t anti-Semitic stating:
“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.”
“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,” said ViacomCBS in a statement.
“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. ViacomCBS is committed to doing better in our response to incidents of anti-Semitism, racism, and bigotry,” the company added.
In response to his firing, Cannon posted a lengthy response on Facebook where he stated that he “will not be bullied, silenced, or continuously oppressed by any organization, group, or corporation. I am disappointed that Viacom does not understand or respect the power of the black community.”
He also added an apology to the Jewish community, promising to “continuing conversations to bring the Jewish Community and the African American community closer together, embracing our differences and sharing our commonalities.”
ViacomCBS worked with Cannon for over 20 years, starting on Nickelodeon and later on MTV. Cannon is demanding full ownership of his “Wild ‘N Out” brand and said ViacomCBS was “now on the wrong side of history.”