Recent offensive comments made by Nick Cannon have resulted in his firing from US television network ViacomCBS.
The actor, comedian, and host has been a part of Viacom's programming for years, most notably his sketch comedy and improv game show series Wild 'N Out. The show, which has aired on both MTV and VH1, guest starred everyone from The Bachelorette's Rachel Lindsay to the Wu-Tang Clan. However, after 15 years on air, Wild 'N Out will no longer be on the airwaves.
Viacom pulled the plug on its host after learning of anti-Semitic comments that Cannon made on his podcast Cannon’s Class. In conversation with former Public Enemy member Richard “Professor Griff” Griffin, Cannon made statements that many listeners flagged as offensive and harmful. He shared troubling conspiracy theories about the Jewish community here in the States and leaned on the often-problematic ideals of Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.
The media conglomerate was quick to react, choosing to terminate their decades-long relationship with Cannon.
"ViacomCBS condemns bigotry of any kind and we categorically denounce all forms of anti-Semitism," the company shared 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 apologise for perpetuating anti-Semitism, and we are terminating our relationship with him."
Cannon responded to his former employer in a lengthy post on his official Facebook page.
"I am deeply saddened in a moment so close to reconciliation that the powers that be, misused an important moment for us to all grow closer together and learn more about one another," Cannon in a lengthy post on his official Facebook page. "Instead the moment was stolen and highjacked to make an example of an outspoken black man."
"I created a billion-dollar brand that expanded across a multitiered empire that is still Viacom’s biggest digital brand, touring business, talent discovery and incubation system and successful restaurant franchise," he continued. "Based on trust and empty promises, my ownership was swindled away from me. For Viacom to be so deceptive is no surprise; they have been mistreating and robbing our community for years, underpaying talent on their biggest brands like Love & Hip Hop, all of BET programming and of course, Wild 'N Out."
Cannon's open letter also demanded the full ownership of Wild 'N Out, an ultimatum that will probably see the involved parties heading to court. Though the show was created by the Drumline actor, it's still a Viacom production and therefore legally belongs to the mass media company.
And Wild 'N Out isn't the only project on the chopping block. Although Cannon's Facebook post included an apology to the Jewish community, it seems that he's not backing down from the original statements made on his podcast. That hard stance could also endanger the future of his hosting gig on the FOX series The Masked Singer.
This is a developing story.