Nick Cannon was to have launched a new syndicated talk show in the fall, but those plans are being put on hold in the wake of some controversial comments he made recently that have been described as anti-Semitic.
The premiere date of the talk show was originally scheduled for Sept. 21, but has been pushed back and won’t be debuting this year. In addition, production has reportedly been shut down.
However, the series’ producer, Lionsgate, is standing behind the embattled host.
“The Nick Cannon talk show will not debut this year,” reads a statement from Lionsgate to ET Canada.
“After conversations with Nick, we do believe that his public comments don’t reflect his true feelings and his apology is heartfelt & sincere. 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,” Lionsgate’s statement continues.
“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 & unite his audience on the Nick Cannon talk show,” the statement adds, concluding: “Lionsgate & Debmar-Mercury condemn anti-Semitism, racism & hate speech. It runs counter to everything we stand for.”
During a recent podcast, Cannon said, “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. That’s our birthright. We are the true Hebrews.”
Cannon later issued an apology on social media, admitting his words “reinforced the worst stereotypes of a proud and magnificent people and I feel ashamed of the uninformed and naive place that these words came from.
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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. 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. I want to express my gratitude to the Rabbis, community leaders and institutions who reached out to me to help enlighten me, instead of chastising me. I want to assure my Jewish friends, new and old, that this is only the beginning of my education—I am committed to deeper connections, more profound learning and strengthening the bond between our two cultures today and every day going forward.
ViacomCBS subsequently severed its relationship with Cannon, although the Fox network confirmed he would continue to host “The Masked Singer” when the show returns with a new season.