Nick Cannon walks back video containing anti-Semitic statements but does not apologize


(JTA) — Actor and television host Nick Cannon walked back a video podcast interview he filmed last year that contains anti-Semitic statements and conspiracy theories, but he stopped short of an apology.

 “Anyone who knows me knows that I have no hate in my heart nor malice intention,” he wrote Monday in a Facebook post. “I do not condone hate speech nor the spread of hateful rhetoric. We are living in a time when it is more important than ever to promote unity and understanding.”

Cannon was responding to the release late last month of his interview with Richard “Professor Griff” Griffin, who performed with the rap group Public Enemy. Griffin was kicked out of Public Enemy in 1989 for making anti-Semitic remarks in an interview with The Washington Post in which he reportedly said that Jews were responsible “for the majority of wickedness that goes on across the globe.”

In his “Cannon’s Class” video podcast, Cannon calls Black people the “true Hebrews,” and he praises Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, saying that “every time I’ve heard him speak, it’s positive, it’s powerful, it’s uplifting,” and that Farrakhan “has been demonized.” Farrakhan has called Jews “termites” and denounced the “Synagogue of Satan.”

“In today’s conversation about anti-racism and social justice, I think we all — including myself — must continue educating one another and embrace uncomfortable conversations — it’s the only way we ALL get better. I encourage more healthy dialogue and welcome any experts, clergy, or spokespersons to any of my platforms to hold me accountable and correct me in any statement that I’ve made that has been projected as negative,” Cannon also wrote.

He said that “I hold myself accountable for this moment and take full responsibility.”

Cannon told the Fast Company website that a few rabbis have reached out in the wake of the video and that he plans to have them on his podcast.

“I can’t wait to sit down with some people that can help educate me and help further this conversation. I want to be corrected,” he said.

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