Nick Cannon said his brush with the cancellation of 2020 over anti-Semitic comments was a “growing moment” that he has since embodied in a different attitude, with a podcast to prove it.
“I’m going to be super honest with you, man,” said the artist and father of 12 children. AllHipHop recently “That process was a moment of growth for me, on so many levels as a man.”
The host of “The Masked Singer” temporarily lost his gig hosting MTV’s “Wild ‘N Out” over comments he made while interviewing former Public Enemy member Professor Griff, whose real name is Richard Griffin, for his “Cannon’s Class” podcast in July 2020. (Work on Cannon’s short-lived daytime talk show was also pushed back to 2021, though that show lasted only one season.)
During that episode of Cannon’s Class, the artist called blacks “the real Hebrews” and discussed anti-Semitic conspiracy theories with Griffin, who was kicked out of Public Enemy in 1989 for anti-Jewish comments. Cannon and Griffin are both black.
Amid the backlash that followed, and while angry about the “Wild ‘N Out” situation (he got that job in February 2021), Cannon worked to learn about the Jewish experience. The podcast episode was also not released.
“I want to assure my Jewish friends new and old that this is only the beginning of my education,” he tweeted as part of a long thread of apologies in 2020. “I am committed to deeper connections, deeper learning, and the strengthening of the bond between our two cultures today and every day in the future.”
Cannon told AllHipHop that one result of his learning experience was “Solutions: 2 Hate or Not 2 Hate,” a podcast that came out this year with the rapper-actor and Jonathan Greenblatt, executive director of the Anti-Defamation League. The five-episode podcast featured conversations between Cannon and Greenblatt, with contributions from ESPN black analyst Stephen A. Smith, Jewish comedian Alex Edelman and black academic Michael Eric Dyson.
“It really is about the equation of our two communities from two different perspectives,” Cannon said. “We express our side, or perspective as a black man, and then he expresses his side as a Jewish man. Even that alone is helpful and educational for both communities.
“And again, because that’s the point, we can sit here and rage, but if we don’t get involved, what are we really doing, if we can’t even learn from each other?”
Cannon also seems to want “Solutions: 2 Hate or Not 2 Hate” to be a tool for people in the future.
“The next people that say something into a microphone can have an understanding of what it is,” he said, “so they don’t stumble and miss opportunities or get canceled and all that. in the next lap.