Nick Cannon Keeps ‘Masked Singer’ Job Following Controversial Podcast

(Image credit: Fox)

Nick Cannon is holding onto his job as host of The Masked Singer on Fox following anti-Semitic remarks Cannon made on his podcast. 

Cannon was fired from Wild ‘N Out, which he hosted and executive produced, by ViacomCBS. “We are deeply troubled that Nick has failed to acknowledge or apologize for perpetuating anti-Semitism,” ViacomCBS said in a statement. 

Sketch series Wild ‘N Out premiered on MTV in 2005. 

The comments happened when Cannon interviewed hip-hop figure Richard Griffin in his Cannon’s Class podcast June 30. Griffin, who goes by Professor Griff, had been a member of Public Enemy decades before. The podcast episode appeared on YouTube. 

Back in 1989, Griffin told the Washington Times, “the Jews are wicked.” 

Griffin told Cannon that Jewish people have extraordinary influence on the media and on music. He said, “I’m hated now because I told the truth.” 

Cannon responded, “You’re speaking facts.”

Cannon also said Black people are Semitic by definition. “You can’t be anti-Semitic when we are the Semitic people,” Cannon said. “That’s our birthright.”

The Masked Singer is a hit show. 

“When we were made aware of Nick Cannon’s interview with Richard Griffin on YouTube, we immediately began a dialogue with Nick. He is clear and remorseful that his words were wrong and lacked both understanding and context, and inadvertently promoted hate,” said Fox in a statement. “This was important for us to observe. Nick has sincerely apologized, and quickly taken steps to educate himself and make amends. On that basis and given a belief that this moment calls for dialogue, we will move forward with Nick and help him advance this important conversation, broadly. Fox condemns all forms of hate directed toward any community and we will combat bigotry of any kind.”

Fox shared Cannon’s apology. “First and foremost 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,” he said in a statement. “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. The video of this interview has since been removed.

“While the Jewish experience encompasses more than 5,000 years and there is so much I have yet to learn, I have had at least a minor history lesson over the past few days and to say that it is eye-opening would be a vast understatement,” Cannon added. 

Syndicated show Nick Cannon is to premiere September 21. 

Michael Malone

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.