ViacomCBS has restored its working relationship with Nick Cannon less than one year after the media conglomerate terminated Cannon following a controversy over anti-Semitic remarks that Cannon made on his podcast.
What is the background?
As TheBlaze reported, Cannon was fired from ViacomCBS last July after remarks he made in 2019 resurfaced in which Cannon ranted about anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, and even defended Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.
“ViacomCBS condemns bigotry of any kind and we categorically denounce all forms of anti-Semitism,” ViacomCBS said in a statement last summer.
“We have spoken with Nick Cannon about an episode of his podcast ‘Cannon’s Class’ on YouTube, which promoted hate speech and spread anti-Semitic conspiracy theories,” the company added. “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 response, Cannon bashed Viacom and blamed “systemic racism” for his ouster.
“[ViacomCBS] wanted to put the young Negro in his place. They wanted to show me who is boss, hang me out to dry and make an example of anyone who says something they don’t agree with,” Cannon said.
Cannon did, however, extend his “deepest and most sincere apologies to my Jewish sisters and brothers” for his “hurtful and divisive words.”
What is happening now?
According to the Hollywood Reporter, ViacomCBS and Cannon are working together again, and production of Cannon’s popular show “Wild ‘N Out” will resume production. The show airs on ViacomCBS-owned VH1.
In a statement, ViacomCBS said they wanted to work with Cannon again because he made efforts to educate himself following the anti-Semitic controversy.
A spokesperson for ViacomCBS’ MTV Entertainment Group said:
Nick has not only apologized and taken responsibility for his comments, but he has also worked to educate himself and others through engagement with Jewish leaders and on his platforms.
Those efforts are of the utmost importance and that’s why we have invited him to rejoin our team. On a separate note, we just learned that he tested positive for COVID and have reached out to wish him a speedy recovery.
As USA Today reported, “Cannon met with Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s associate dean, and Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, among others, to understand the hurt he caused by making anti-Semitic remarks.”
Cannon has worked with ViacomCBS and its subsidiary networks in some fashion since 1998, USA Today noted.