Caleb Kennedy, 16, exits American Idol after clip next to person in plain KKK hood surfaces

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Caleb Kennedy, 16, leaves American Idol after video of him next to person on apparent Ku Klux Klan hood surfaces

Caleb Kennedy has retired from American Idol amid a racist scandal, as he was seen in a social media clip next to a person wearing a plain Ku Klux Klan hood.

The 16-year-old country singer who made it to the show’s finale took to Instagram on Wednesday to announce his departure from the ABC series.

“Hey guys, this will come as a bit of a surprise, but I’m no longer going to be on American Idol,” he wrote. “There was a video that surfaced on the Internet showing actions that were not intended to be taken that way.”

The latest: Caleb Kennedy, 16, has retired from American Idol amid racist scandal, as he was seen in a social media clip next to a person wearing an apparent Ku Klux Klan hood

The Spartanburg, South Carolina resident said of the video,

The latest: Caleb Kennedy, 16, has retired from American Idol amid racist scandal, as he was seen in a social media clip next to a person wearing an apparent Ku Klux Klan hood

The Spartanburg, South Carolina resident said of the video, “I was younger and didn’t think about the actions, but that’s no excuse.”

Kennedy apologized for the sequence of events, saying he hoped to save his reputation in the future.

“I want to say sorry to all my fans and everyone I have abandoned,” he said. ‘I take some time off on social media to improve myself, but when I say that, I know this has hurt and disappointed a lot of people and caused people to lose respect for me.

‘I’m very sorry! I pray that one day I can regain your trust in who I am and your respect! Thanks for your support. ‘

Kennedy was seen in a social media clip sitting next to a person wearing a plain Ku Klux Klan hood

Kennedy was seen in a social media clip sitting next to a person wearing a plain Ku Klux Klan hood

The country singer took to Instagram on Wednesday to announce his departure from the ABC series

The country singer took to Instagram on Wednesday to announce his departure from the ABC series

Kennedy played the cover of Chris Stapleton's Midnight Train to Memphis on Sunday's show

Kennedy played the cover of Chris Stapleton’s Midnight Train to Memphis on Sunday’s show

According to the Herald-JournalKennedy’s relatives said the Snapchat video in question was taken four years ago when he was 12.

His mother Anita Guy told the paper, ‘I hate that this happened and how Caleb is portrayed by people online.

This video was made after Caleb saw the movie The Strangers: Prey at Night and they imitated those characters. It had nothing to do with the Ku Klux Klan, but I know it looks like this. Caleb doesn’t have a racist bone in his body. He loves everyone and has friends of all races. ‘

Progress: Sources told TMZ that Sunday's episode of the musical competition will be a top four showdown, eliminating one contestant

Moving Forward: Sources told TMZ that Sunday’s episode of the musical competition will be a top four showdown, eliminating one contestant

Kennedy was praised by Judge Katy Perry after auditioning for his song Nowhere. Sunday’s show featured the Chris Stapleton cover Midnight Train to Memphis.

Sources told TMZ That Sunday’s episode of the musical competition will be a top four showdown, with one contestant eliminated.

Chayce Beckham, Casey Bishop, Grace Kinstler and Willie Spence remain in the show’s 19th season.

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