UPDATED: 10:33 a.m. ET —
Nick Cannon has responded to ViacomCBS’ decision to cut ties with him following a controversial episode of his podcast on which he was accused of making anti-Semitic comments. The entertainment mogul who has been working with the company since he was a teenager lost his job faster than the police officers who killed Breonna Taylor.
Cannon said in a Facebook post on Wednesday that he was “saddened” and “disappointed” that Viacom chose “to make an example of an outspoken black man.” He added in the lengthy post that he was being targeted by racist death threats. He also suggested that he would have the final word in the controversy.
“My hope and original goal was to use this moment to show healing and acceptance and prayed that Viacom would use their powers for good. Instead I am now receiving death threats, hate messages calling me an ungrateful Nigger and beyond,” he wrote in part. “Viacom’s goal to keep me from providing for my family and lineage will be foiled. They can try to kick me while I’m down or force me to kiss the master’s feet in public for shame and ridicule, but instead I stand firm on my square with my fist in the air repeating my mantra, ‘You can’t fire a Boss!'”
Read his full post below.
Reality TV star Masika Kalysha suggested in a tweet early Wednesday that she had warned Cannon about Viacom and wrote that the media company objectifies Black people.
Amid a global racial reckoning, one of the biggest media companies in the world suggested that it believes allegedly anti-Semitic comments deserve a harsher and swifter punishment than police officers who kill innocent and unarmed Black people. At least, that appeared to be what was happening when Viacom fired Nick Cannon on Tuesday night following a Facebook post contextualizing what he said on his podcast from last month.
Cannon is accused of pushing conspiracy theories about Jews while interviewing former Public Enemy rapper Professor Griff during an episode of “Cannon’s Class” on June 30. He also said that Black people are the “true Hebrews.” In addition, Cannon had some choice words about the history of white people in the world. (Professor Griff was ousted from the rap group over his own anti-Semitic flap.)
All of the above has caused ViacomCBS to sever ties with Cannon quicker than the Louisville Metro Police Department has with its officers involved in the killing of Breonna Taylor, who died in a hail of police bullets while she slept in her own home more than four months ago.
“ViacomCBS condemns bigotry of any kind and we categorically denounce all forms of anti-Semitism,” the company said in a statement Tuesday night about the man the company has worked with since the 1990s. “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.”
One day before Viacom fired him, Cannon released a statement on his Facebook page denying the accusations of anti-Semitism and instead promoting “unity and understanding.”
To be clear, NewsOne does not accept discrimination of any kind. A little punitive consistency across all business sectors would be nice, though.
There was also a string of anti-Semitic attacks taking place just outside of New York City late last year, including a “targeted” attack on a Jewish market that left at least six people dead in Jersey City, New Jersey, where Black Hebrew Israelites were the suspected culprits.
With that said, in this age of racial reckoning, Cannon’s words were hurtful, but they were not lethal. While critics might suspect his commentary could appear sympathetic to an anti-Semitic movement, suspicion of police killing Black people with impunity has been confirmed in too many instances, especially recently. Seeing Cannon lose his job while police officers shooting blindly into a home keep their taxpayer-funded jobs could be all but tantamount to a slap in the face to Black people and seemed to further confirm on multiple levels that the almighty dollar is more important than Black lives.
This is America.