Nick Cannon Says He's on a 'Journey of Atonement' Following His Anti-Semitic Comments

"My journey's not going to stop whether the person watching this forgives me or not," he says in a clip from his upcoming interview on Soul of a Nation

Nick Cannon
Nick Cannon. Photo: Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP/Shutterstock

Nick Cannon is opening up about the "journey of atonement" he embarked on after making anti-Semitic comments last summer.

Cannon, 40, will sit down with ABC anchor Linsey Davis on Tuesday's episode of Soul of a Nation to discuss how he is trying to make amends for his behavior, which initially resulted in him getting fired by ViacomCBS. He has since resumed his working relationship with the company and will return as host of his long-running improv series Wild 'N Out, MTV Entertainment Group announced last month.

"I've always said that apologies are empty. Apologies are weightless," Cannon said in a preview of the interview that ran on Good Morning America Tuesday. "In Hebrew they call it, you know, 'Teshuva,' the process of not only you know, repenting, but through that, if you're ever met with a similar situation that you make a different decision. That goes beyond apologizing."

"And I'm on this journey of atonement, not to get a job, not to gain any more money because that's not what's needed here. I'm doing this because it's the right thing to do," he added.

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The Masked Singer host and father of four also emphasized that he is seeking to grow and educate himself.

"I hurt people," he said. "I'm going to lean into it. I want to understand why I hurt you, what did I say? What are these tropes? Educate me."

"My journey's not going to stop whether the person watching this forgives me or not," he continued. "I'm still going to hopefully, through this process, be on the right side of history and bring people closer together."

In June 2020, Cannon interviewed former Public Enemy member Richard "Professor Griff" Griffin on his Cannon's Class YouTube series. Griffin was ousted from the group for his own anti-Semitic remarks made in an interview with the Washington Post in 1989. During their discussion, Cannon and Griffin promoted anti-Semitic conspiracy theories.

Following backlash, Cannon apologized for his "hurtful and divisive words" in the video, which was taken down. He has also met with Jewish leaders, such as the Simon Wiesenthal Center's Rabbi Abraham Cooper, Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt, American Jewish Committee's Rabbi Noam E. Marans and senior leadership at the Wiesenthal Center's Museum of Tolerance, which he also toured.

Additionally, the actor and comedian pledged to donate his first paycheck from The Masked Singer season 4 to the Wiesenthal Center and addressed the situation with Cooper and Greenblatt during an MTV Entertainment Group Town Hall that focused on "Courageous Conversations."

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