The premiere of Nick Cannon’s upcoming nationally syndicated daytime talk show has been pushed following criticism over anti-Semitic remarks that he made on a June episode of his podcast.
Titled “Nick Cannon,” the talker was ordered last fall and set to launch Sept. 21. Lionsgate’s Debmar-Mercury, which is the producer and distributor of Cannon’s show, says it’s “standing by Nick” and hopes to premiere the series in Fall 2021.
“The ‘Nick Cannon’ talk show will not debut this year,” Lionsgate and Debmar-Mercury said in a statement Friday. “After conversations with Nick, we do believe that his public comments don’t reflect his true feelings and his apology is heartfelt and sincere. We want to continue the healing process as he meets with leaders of the Jewish community and engages in a dialogue with our distribution partners to hear their views.”
The statement continues: “We are standing by Nick in our hope that by fall 2021 he will be able to use his extraordinary talent and platform to entertain, enlighten and unite his audience on the ‘Nick Cannon’ talk show. Lionsgate and Debmar-Mercury condemn anti-Semitism, racism and hate speech. It runs counter to everything we stand for.”
Representatives for Cannon did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.
Debmar-Mercury’s decision comes two days after Cannon apologized for comments he made on an episode of his podcast “Cannon’s Class,” which featured an interview with former Public Enemy member Richard “Professor Griff” Griffin — who was fired from the hip-hop group for making anti-Semitic comments in a 1989 interview — and saw the pair repeatedly reference fringe conspiracy theories about Jewish people.
His apology came one day after ViacomCBS cut ties with Cannon — the creator and host of “Wild ‘N Out” — over the remarks which the media giant said “promoted hateful speech and spread anti-Semitic conspiracy theories.” In a statement, a spokesperson for the company also said they were “deeply troubled” by Cannon’s failure to “acknowledge or apologize for perpetuating anti-Semitism.”
Cannon pushed back against ViacomCBS in a lengthy Facebook post on Wednesday, demanding “full ownership” of “Wild ‘N Out,” which he referred to as a “billion dollar” brand,” and an apology from the company.
He said he received “dead silence” in return. “That’s when I realized they don’t want a conversation or growth, they wanted to put the young negro in his place,” Cannon wrote.
“It is absolutely untrue that Nick Cannon reached out to the Chair of ViacomCBS,” a representative for ViacomCBS and a spokesperson for Redstone both said in statements on Wednesday. When asked if Cannon had attempted to reach Redstone through intermediaries, both the ViacomCBS rep and Redstone’s rep said, “Not to my knowledge.”
Unlike ViacomCBS, Fox decided to maintain its relationship with Cannon, keeping him on as the host of “The Masked Singer,” a decision the network announced soon after his apology Wednesday night.
“When we were made aware of Nick Cannon’s interview with Richard Griffin on YouTube, we immediately began a dialogue with Nick,” Fox said in a statement. “He is clear and remorseful that his words were wrong and lacked both understanding and context, and inadvertently promoted hate. This was important for us to observe. Nick has sincerely apologized, and quickly taken steps to educate himself and make amends. On that basis and given a belief that this moment calls for dialogue, we will move forward with Nick and help him advance this important conversation, broadly. Fox condemns all forms of hate directed toward any community and we will combat bigotry of any kind.”
On Thursday, Cannon announced he’d be taking a break from his radio show for “reflection and education.”