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Nick Cannon reflects on his ‘growth’ since 2020 antisemitic chat with Professor Griff

Nick Cannon reflects on his ‘growth’ since 2020 antisemitic chat with Professor Griff

Nick Cannon said his 2020 brush with cancellation over antisemitic remarks was a “growth moment” that he has since incorporated into a different attitude — with a podcast to prove it.

“I’m going to be super honest with you, man,” the performer and father of 12 told AllHipHop recentlys. “That process was a growth moment for me, on so many levels as a man.”

The host of “The Masked Singer” temporarily lost his “Wild ‘N Out” hosting gig with MTV over remarks he made while interviewing former Public Enemy member Professor Griff — real name Richard Griffin — for his “Cannon’s Class” podcast in July 2020. (Work on Cannon’s short-lived daytime talk show was also delayed until 2021, though that show lasted only one season.)

During that Cannon’s Class episode, the performer called Black people “the true Hebrews” and discussed antisemitic conspiracy theories with Griffin, who was kicked out of Public Enemy in 1989 over anti-Jewish remarks. Cannon and Griffin are both Black.

Amid the backlash that followed, and while he was angry about the “Wild ‘N Out” situation (he got that job back in February 2021), Cannon worked to learn about the Jewish experience. The podcast episode was also unpublished.

“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 lengthy apology thread in 2020. “I am committed to deeper connections, more profound learning and strengthening the bond between our two cultures today and every day going forward.”

One result of his learning experience, Cannon told AllHipHop, was “Solutions: 2 Hate or Not 2 Hate,” a podcast that came out this year featuring the rapper-actor and Jonathan Greenblatt, chief executive of the Anti-Defamation League. The five-episode podcast included conversations between Cannon and Greenblatt, with input from Black ESPN analyst Stephen A. Smith, Jewish comic Alex Edelman and Black academic Michael Eric Dyson

“It’s really talking about the equation of our two communities from two different perspectives,” Cannon said. “We voice our side, or the perspective as a Black man, and then he voices his side from a Jewish man. Just even that alone is helpful and educational for both communities.

“And again, because that’s the thing, we can sit up here and be enraged, but if we don’t engage, what are we really doing, if we can’t even learn from one another?”

Cannon also seems to want “Solutions: 2 Hate or Not 2 Hate” to be a tool for people in the future.

“The next people who say something in front of a microphone can have an understanding of what it is,” he said, “so they don’t stumble and fumble and have to lose opportunities or get so-called canceled and all of that stuff on the next go around.”

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