Nick Cannon is swinging back after being fired from ViacomCBS for discussing anti-Semitic theories on his podcast, Cannon’s Class. The TV host and personality is even demanding an apology from the TV conglomerate for dismissing him from the show he created, Wild ‘N Out, and also wants complete ownership of the series.
Cannon began trending Tuesday afternoon after a video of him talking to former Public Enemy member Richard “Professor Griff” Griffin went viral. The two discussed a wide range of topics, including violence at the hands of White people and a theory purported by the Nation of Islam’s Louis Farrakhan.
Griffin, who was dismissed from his legendary rap group for making anti-Semitic comments, went on to state the theory: that the Semitic people and language are not connected to White people, and that it is impossible for a Black person to be anti-Semitic. Cannon said during that conversation that Black people were the “true Hebrews.”
In a lengthy statement Tuesday, Cannon wrote that he’s taking “full responsibility” because he does “not condone hate speech nor the spread of hateful rhetoric.” The host clarified that he was attempting to have a dialogue so other voices can be “heard openly, fairly and candidly.”
“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 added.
Cannon continued in an interview with Fast Company, explaining that his podcast “is specifically an academic podcast, to have tough and difficult conversations based off of text. And if we read something and something’s not accurate, let’s do away with it.”
The father revealed that he planned to have experts on the show to help him understand the concepts he was discussing with Griffin, including rabbis.
“I can’t wait to sit down with some people that can help educate me and help further this conversation. I want to be corrected,” he continued.
A ViacomCBS spokesperson announced in a statement Wednesday that Cannon’s contract with CBS was terminated.
According to Variety, the statement read: “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. 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. 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.”
But it didn’t take long for Cannon to swing back in another lengthy statement.
“I demand full ownership of my billion-dollar Wild ‘N Out brand that I created, and [that] 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!” he wrote. “I 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.”
Cannon also claimed that the network had been suppressing ads relating to George Floyd and the racial protests that have sprung up across the nation since March.
The network defended itself in another statement, writing in part that they blocked those ads in relation to a show called Revenge Prank. “We didn’t want to be insensitive by placing ads for it next to important and serious topics, such as Black Lives Matter,” the statement said in part. “This is standard practice we use with our media agency, to ensure that our ads don’t come across as tone-deaf or disrespectful.”