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A syndicated daytime show hosted by Nick Cannon won’t launch in the fall, just the latest fallout from anti-Semitic remarks he made on his podcast.
Cannon, who also hosts Fox’s The Masked Singer, was set to host and executive produce an eponymous show from Lionsgate’s Debmar-Mercury. The show was cleared in more than 90 percent of the country, including all of the 20 biggest markets, with Fox-owned stations as the lead group. It was also set to air on stations owned by, among others, CBS, Sinclair, Nexstar, Tegna and Cox.
Lionsgate says it’s standing by Cannon, but will hold off on the daytime show for a year.
“The Nick Cannon talk show will not debut this year. After conversations with Nick, we do believe that his public comments don’t reflect his true feelings and his apology is heartfelt and sincere,” Lionsgate and Debmar-Mercury said in a statement. “We want to continue the healing process as he meets with leaders of the Jewish community and engages in a dialogue with our distribution partners to hear their views. We are standing by Nick in our hope that by fall 2021 he will be able to use his extraordinary talent and platform to entertain, enlighten and unite his audience on the Nick Cannon talk show.
“Lionsgate and Debmar-Mercury condemn anti-Semitism, racism and hate speech. It runs counter to everything we stand for.”
During a June 30 edition of his podcast, Cannon’s Class, Cannon spoke with Richard Griffin, aka Professor Griff, a former member of rap group Public Enemy. Cannon called Black people “the true Hebrews” and discussed anti-Semitic conspiracy theories with Griffin, who was pushed out of Public Enemy in the late 1980s after making homophobic and anti-Semitic comments in media interviews.
“It’s never hate speech. You can’t be anti-Semitic when we are the Semitic people, when we are the same people who they want to be,” said Cannon. “That’s our birthright. We are the true Hebrews.”
Cannon apologized for his remarks, writing in part, “I extend my deepest and most sincere apologies to my Jewish sisters and brothers for the hurtful and divisive words that came out of my mouth during my interview with Richard Griffin. They reinforced the worst stereotypes of a proud and magnificent people and I feel ashamed of the uninformed and naïve place that these words came from.”
Fox also said it would stand by Cannon, saying that the network would “move forward with him and help him advance this important conversation.” He’ll remain as host of The Masked Singer.
ViacomCBS, however, cut ties with Cannon after the podcast remarks surfaced, ending a relationship that stretches back some 15 years. The media giant also canceled Cannon’s MTV improv comedy series Wild ‘N Out.
Cannon later wrote in a lengthy Facebook post, “I must apologize to my Jewish Brothers and Sisters for putting them in such a painful position, which was never my intention, but I know this whole situation has hurt many people and together we will make it right. I have dedicated my daily efforts to continuing conversations to bring the Jewish community and the African American community closer together, embracing our differences and sharing our commonalities.”
Cannon also wrote he had reached out to ViacomCBS chair Shari Redstone, although a company spokesperson said that was “absolutely untrue.”
Cannon has also demanded full ownership of his long-running Wild ‘N Out brand from ViacomCBS, which debuted on MTV in 2005 and scored a three-season, 90-episode renewal in 2019.
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