Nick Cannon Fired by Viacom; No Lawsuit Despite Initial Reports
The former host of Wild N’ Out was reported to be fighting back after he was fired by Viacom in
The former host of Wild N’ Out was reported to be fighting back after he was fired by Viacom in July, but a representative says that news outlets are mistaken. Nick Cannon was fired by the network that produced his show, Wild N’ Out, after Cannon shared anti-Semitic comments on his podcast show, Cannon’s Class. Reports initially said that the 39-year-old is looking to recoup some of the damages from losing his beloved pet project. However, Cannon’s people say this is simply untrue.
Cannon started his career young
The child-star-turned-tv-host has been a Hollywood heavy hitter for most of his life. Cannon started his career on Nickelodeon back in the 90’s, on the comedy sketch show, All That. Cannon was introduced to a love of performance by his grandfather, who bought him his first musical instrument at the age of 8.
Cannon’s father invited him to perform on his local public access how a few years later, and the young comedian discovered his love for comedy and sketch work. Soon, Cannon was a local legend, performing his comedy routines in local comedy clubs.
All That and a start with MTv
At 17, Cannon became the youngest staff writer in television history when he was hired to write and perform warm-up comedy for the burgeoning new comedy show on Nickelodeon, All That. With his rise in popularity on that show, Cannon was soon writing, producing, and starring in his own show on the network, The Nick Cannon Show. From there, Cannon was hired by MTv to host Nick Cannon Presents Wild N’ Out, a hugely popular improvisation show.
The former child star was tapped to host America’s Got Talent in 2009, and he remained there until 2017. He simultaneously appeared in shows like Real Husbands of Hollywood and comedy show Brooklyn Nine-Nine.
His love for music continued
Despite his successful comedy career, Cannon did not abandon his love for music. He released his first album in 2003, and has collaborated with some music world titans like Kanye West, P. Diddy, R. Kelly, and Mary J. Blige.
in 2008, Cannon Married pop star icon, Mariah Carey. The couple welcomed twins in 2011, and divorced in 2014.
Trouble with Viacom
In July of this year, Viacom announced that they would be ending their long-running relationship with Cannon and taking ownership of Wild N’ Out after remarks made on his podcast rang alarm bells at the network. Variety reports that on June 30th, Cannon interviewed rapper Professor Griff. Professor Griff was a former member of the rap group Public Enemy, but left after making anti-Semitic remarks. During the discussion, Variety reports, “‘On the podcast, Cannon said Black people are the ‘true Hebrews’ and talked about anti-Semitic conspiracy theories involving the Rothschild family.
‘It’s never hate speech, you can’t be anti-Semitic when we are the Semitic people,’ Cannon said. ‘When we are the same people who they want to be. That’s our birthright. We are the true Hebrews.’”
Viacom speaks out
ViacomCBS immediately responded, a spokesperson saying, “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. 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. We are committed to doing better in our response to incidents of anti-Semitism, racism, and bigotry. ViacomCBS will have further announcements on our efforts to combat hate of all kinds.”
Cannon seeks to explain his side
Cannon began retweeting messages by supporters, and the following day responded via Facebook.
Variety shares details of the post,
“Cannon began by noting he is ‘deeply saddened in a moment so close to reconciliation that the powers that be, misused an important moment for us to all grow closer together and learn more about one another.’
‘Instead the moment was stolen and highjacked [sic] to make an example of an outspoken Black man. I will not be bullied, silenced, or continuously oppressed by any organization, group, or corporation. I am disappointed that Viacom does not understand or respect the power of the Black community,’ he continued.”
According to Variety, Cannon also alleges that ViacomCBS recently, ” banned ‘all advertisement [sic] that supported George Floyd and Breonna Taylor who we are still seeking justice for.’ Cannon also claims he personally reached out to ViacomCBS chair Shari Redstone ‘to have a conversation of reconciliation and actually apologize if I said anything that pained or hurt her or her community,” and received no response.
“My hope and original goal was to use this moment to show healing and acceptance and prayed that Viacom would use their powers for good. Instead I am now receiving death threats, hate messages calling me an ungrateful n—– 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!’”
The show may be over for him, but reports claimed that Cannon sought to recoup losses
The stage is set for his severance from the company, and many outlets initially reported that Cannon is hitting back with a $1.5 billion lawsuit, hoping to reclaim the estimated value of Wild N’ Out.
A spokesperson said in a statement, “It is just that simple, Wild’N Out belongs to Nick! The show was created by Nick Cannon with his idea and original thought. Wild’N Out has brought billions of dollars in revenue to Viacom since 2015. And Nick deserves and has earned everything it is worth. From the platforms he provides for other entertainers, the jobs he creates for black youth, the time he gives to mentoring incarcerated men and women, to the money he gives back and puts into communities, homelessness, and people less fortunate. He is constantly evolving both spiritually and mentally, as well as, taking action in learning, education and bridging the gap within the Jewish and African American communities, so that it will allow us to build relationships, work together and learn from each other in order to move forward in equality.”
Cannon’s representative seeks to clear up earlier reports of a lawsuit
Reports suggesting Cannon is planning to sue Viacom appear to be untrue. A representative for the host spoke late Wednesday about the rumors, releasing a statement that said, “These reports are inaccurate. Nick’s focus right now is on unifying communities and combatting bigotry, racism and hate of all kinds, not seeking personal financial gain.”
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