Actor and TV host Nick Cannon was dropped by ViacomCBS over anti-Semitic comments. by the Forward

Nick Cannon may be headed back to ViacomCBS

Image by Getty

Ousted in July from ViacomCBS for anti-Semitic comments, actor Nick Cannon may be back in the media conglomerate’s good graces after a lengthy learning tour.

In an internal town hall on Monday, Chris McCarthy, president of entertainment and youth brands at ViacomCBS, commended Cannon’s efforts to overcome his biases and hinted that the network was open to working with him again, Variety reported.

“I struggle with the fact that Nick, a longtime partner and friend of ours, is on this journey and we’re not part of that journey,” McCarthy said.

Nick Cannon may be headed back to ViacomCBS

CBS Viacom terminated its relationship with Cannon after the actor made anti-Semitic comments on a June 30 episode of his podcast “Cannon’s Class.” During the episode, in which he interviewed Professor Griff, a former member of the rap group Public Enemy, Cannon promoted conspiracy theories about the Rothschild family and argued that people of African descent are the “true Jews.”

“You can’t be anti-Semitic when we are the Semitic people,” he said.

In the wake of his firing Cannon was defensive, publishing a lengthy Facebook statement in which he accused Viacom CBS of trying to “make an example of an outspoken black man” even as he apologized for the Jewish community for “putting them in such a painful position, which was never my intention.”

But since then, Cannon has spoken publicly and at length with several Jewish leaders, far exceeding the tepid gestures towards teshuva made by most celebrities accused of bias.

Nick Cannon may be headed back to ViacomCBS

He got a crash course in anti-Semitism from Rabbi Abraham Cooper of the Simon Wiesenthal Center and later hosted the rabbi on his podcast. During the Jewish holiday of Tisha B’av, he participated in a full day of “fasting, meditation, study and prayer” and delivered a Facebook book report on Bari Weiss’s book “How to Fight Anti Semitism.” He even revealed that his great-grandfather was a Sephardic rabbi in a video interview with Rabbi Noam Marans of the American Jewish Committee.

McCarthy said that Cannon’s interrogation of his own prejudice was “consistent” with the strong character he demonstrated in his years-long partnership with ViacomCBS.

“He apologized, he said it was wrong,” McCarthy said. “He has since been on a journey of learning and understanding, and more importantly, he is using his voice to help educate other people and is becoming an advocate on this issue.”

A source within ViacomCBS told Variety that while McCarthy and Cannon have spoken, there are no formal plans for the actor to return to the network.

Nick Cannon may be headed back to ViacomCBS

Nick Cannon may be headed back to ViacomCBS

Irene Katz Connelly is an editorial fellow at the Forward. You can contact her at Follow her on Twitter at @katz_conn.


Irene Katz Connelly

Irene Katz Connelly

Irene Katz Connelly is a staff writer at the Forward. You can contact her at Follow her on Twitter at @katz_conn.

Nick Cannon may be headed back to ViacomCBS

Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. All readers can browse the comments, and all Forward subscribers can add to the conversation. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters or repeat offenders will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

Nick Cannon may be headed back to ViacomCBS

Thank you!

This article has been sent!