Nick Cannon was fired by ViacomCBS on Tuesday for making anti-Semitic comments on a podcast where he discussed conspiracy theories about Jewish people and praised Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan for anti-Jewish comments.
Now the actor and TV host is firing back at the media conglomerate, claiming ownership of the “billion-dollar brand” he created with his MTV and VH1 series “Wild ‘N Out,” and alleging that the company “swindled” the show away from him.
In a lengthy Facebook post, Cannon writes, “I created a billion-dollar brand that expanded across a multitiered empire that is still Viacom’s biggest digital brand, touring business, talent discovery and incubation system and successful restaurant franchise. Based on trust and empty promises, my ownership was swindled away from me. For Viacom to be so deceptive is no surprise; they have been mistreating and robbing our community for years, underpaying talent on their biggest brands like Love & Hip Hop, all of BET programming and of course, Wild ‘N Out.”
Cannon’s firing follow his comments on a recent episode of his “Cannon’s Class” podcast during which he discussed race and racism with former Public Enemy member Richard “Professor Griff” Griffin.
“They’re acting out of fear. They’re acting out of low self esteem. They’re acting out of a deficiency. So therefore the only way they can act is evil. They have to rob, steal, rape and [unintelligible] in order to survive,” he said, while referencing the ideas of Farrakhan.
Cannon also shared anti-Semitic conspiracy theories about The Rothschilds and “the bloodlines that control everything,” while saying that Black people are the “true Hebrews.”
Following his comments, ViacomCBS severed ties with Cannon. “ViacomCBS condemns bigotry of any kind and we categorically denounce all forms of anti-Semitism. We have spoken with Nick Cannon about an episode of his podcast ‘Cannon’s Class’ on YouTube, which promoted hateful speech and spread anti-Semitic conspiracy theories,” read the statement. “While we support ongoing education and dialogue in the fight against bigotry, we are deeply troubled that Nick has failed to acknowledge or apologize for perpetuating anti-Semitism, and we are terminating our relationship with him.”
INBOX: ViacomCBS terminates relationship with Nick Cannon after he refuses to apologize or acknowledge wrongdoing by spreading blatantly anti-Semitic conspiracy theories pic.twitter.com/BD94qu5jws
In his Facebook post on Tuesday, titled “Truth and Reconciliation,” he called ViacomCBS’ decision “unwise” and claimed that he has received “death threats, hate messages calling me an ungrateful Ni**er and beyond.” “Viacom’s goal to keep me from providing for my family and lineage will be foiled. They can try to kick me while I’m down or force me to kiss the master’s feet in public for shame and ridicule, but instead I stand firm on my square with my fist in the air repeating my mantra, ‘You can’t fire a Boss!’” he said.
He alleges that ViacomCBS refused to run ads supporting George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, and that he tried to reach out to ViacomCBS chair Shari Redstone. “I also went as far to reach out to Ms. Shari Redstone, the owner of Viacom, to have a conversation of reconciliation and actually apologize if I said anything that pained or hurt her or her community. Dead Silence!” he said.
His claim was denied by a ViacomCBS spokesperson, who told Deadline, “It is absolutely untrue that Nick Cannon reached out to the Chair of ViacomCBS.”
Cannon says he has received an “outpouring of love and support from the Jewish community” and pledged to bring the Jewish and African-American communities together. “I must apologize to my Jewish Brothers and Sisters for putting them in such a painful position, which was never my intention, but I know this whole situation has hurt many people and together we will make it right,” said Cannon, who said he has been invited to Israel.
In closing, he says Viacom is on the “wrong side of history” and apologized if his comments caused any hurt (“If I have furthered the hate speech, I wholeheartedly apologize”).
He also demanded ownership of “Wild ‘N Out” and an apology from Viacom. “I demand full ownership of my billion dollar ‘Wild ‘N Out’ brand that I created, and they will continue to misuse and destroy without my leadership! I demand that the hate and back door bullying cease and while we are at it, now that the truth is out, I demand the Apology!” he said.