- Share this article on Facebook
- Share this article on Twitter
- Share this article on Email
- Show additional share options
- Share this article on Print
- Share this article on Comment
- Share this article on Whatsapp
- Share this article on Linkedin
- Share this article on Reddit
- Share this article on Pinit
- Share this article on Tumblr
A top American Idol finalist has abruptly exited the reality competition show after a controversial video emerged.
Caleb Kennedy, a 16-year-old country singer-songwriter on the ABC reality show, is no longer going to be part of the competition following a video that surfaced online that allegedly shows him sitting next to somebody wearing what appears to be a Ku Klux Klan-style hood.
Kennedy posted about his exit Wednesday night, and sources confirmed the singer’s exit from the show.
“Hey y’all, this is gonna be a bit of a surprise but I am no longer gonna be on American Idol,” Kennedy wrote. “There was a video that surfaced on the internet and it displayed actions that were not meant to be taken in that way. I was younger and did not think about the actions, but that’s not an excuse. I wanna say sorry to all my fans and everyone who I have let down. I’ll be taking a little time off social media to better myself, but saying that, I know this has hurt and disappointed a lot of people and made people lose respect for me. I’m so sorry! I pray that I can one day regain your trust in who I am and have your respect! Thank you for supporting me.”
The singer’s mother, Anita Guy, released a statement that said the video was taken when Kennedy was 12 years old and that Kennedy and his friends were inspired by the 2018 horror movie The Strangers: Prey at Night, which includes a villain who wears a white hood.
“I hate this has happened and how Caleb is being portrayed by people online,” she wrote. “This video was taken after Caleb had watched the movie The Strangers: Prey at Night and they were imitating those characters. It had nothing to do with the Ku Klux Klan, but I know that’s how it looks. Caleb doesn’t have a racist bone in his body. He loves everyone and has friends of all races.”
Kennedy will not appear on Sunday’s episode of Idol, which will feature the top four with one contestant elimination. ABC had no comment.
Sign up for THR news straight to your inbox every day