After days of silence, Fox television network defended host Nick Cannon, who has been under fire for an anti-Semitic tirade in which he accused Jewish people of controlling the global financial system.
Fox Entertainment spokesman Les Eisner said that the company is standing behind Cannon, who has been forced to issue multiple apologies since he posted a YouTube video on June 23 that included praise for anti-Semitic Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan. Cannon also promoted age-old anti-Semitic canards about Jewish control, including claims that a secretive group of Jewish people controls the world's banking system.
Cannon's comments led ViacomCBS, producer of his MTV and VH1 show, to fire him. Cannon is also the host of Fox's The Masked Singer and is in talks for a new daytime television show produced by Lionsgate's Debmar-Mercury group, which has remained silent so far on his remarks.
Fox spokesman Eisner defended Cannon, saying the host is remorseful and currently educating himself about why his comments offended the American Jewish community. Initially, Cannon issued a non-apology, but he has since changed his tune.
"When we were made aware of Nick Cannon's interview with Richard Griffin on YouTube, we immediately began a dialogue with Nick," Eisner said in a statement. "He is clear and remorseful that his words were wrong and lacked both understanding and context, and inadvertently promoted hate. This was important for us to observe."
"Nick has sincerely apologized, and quickly taken steps to educate himself and make amends," Eisner claimed. "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."
During the YouTube video, which has since been deleted, Cannon spread classic anti-Semitic conspiracy theories about Jewish power, saying, "Going as deep as the Rothschilds, centralized banking, the 13 families, the bloodlines that control everything even outside of America." This kind of anti-Semitic rhetoric is promoted by white nationalist groups and other anti-Semites who continue to blame Jews for global unrest.
The host also said that Jewish people and "Zionists"—a term Israel's detractors frequently use as a slur—have "too much power."
As public outrage mounted, Cannon issued a lengthy statement apologizing for his remarks.
"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," he said. "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."
Cannon said he is now being advised by rabbis and Jewish community leaders to further understand the hateful nature of his words.
Published under: Anti-Semitism