Former “Wild ‘N Out” star Nick Cannon (39), fired from his MTV gig last month following racist and antisemitic remarks, has been putting his all into making amends since the scandal.
He appeared on the American Jewish Committee’s online program AJC Advocacy Anywhere for a candid conversation with Rabbi Noam Marans.
“I must first say, I’m sorry. When a rock hits someone, the first thing you do is say ‘I apologize’ … and then we’ll deal with why you were throwing rocks,” Cannon explained. “My words hurt people.”
Cannon said his “goal” is to “break down the walls and barriers amongst communities and bring us closer together. It truly is time to get rid of all of the things that divide us and utilize this moment.”
“A lot of people may have been upset that I apologized, but I feel like that’s what someone of true character is actually supposed to do when they hurt someone,” he said.
“Now, let’s get through this process of truth and reconciliation.”
Rabbi Marans mentioned the commonality in hate crime statistics between the Jewish community and the Black community.
“When they hate, they don’t discriminate,” Marans said. “African-Americans and Jews in this country have to fight the common enemy of hate.”
Cannon is studying to get his PhD at Howard University School of Divinity to become a theologian. He said he has learned a lot by educating himself in recent weeks.
“My mother has been calling me every single day since this happened with so much family history. My great-grandfather was a Spanish rabbi. He’s a Sephardic Jewish man.
“So, as much heat as I’ve been catching from the public and the outside, this hit home for my family in a real way because I come from a Black and Jewish family on my mother’s side.
“I can never stand for anything hateful … I can never stand for anything that does harm or treachery to a community,” Cannon replied. “I can’t ever throw away a leader to the Black community … I can condemn the message, but I can never condemn the messenger.”