The Masked Singer host Nick Cannon shared a video of himself performing a new poem called "I Can't Breathe... Again!" and was met with instant backlash from people who could not forget the anti-Semitism controversy that led to him being fired from Wild 'N Out. Cannon made a series of anti-Semitic remarks during the July 14 episode of his podcast Cannon's Class, while interviewing former Public Enemy member Richard "Professor Griff" Griffin. Cannon later apologized and featured Rabbi Abraham Cooper in the latest episode of Class.
Cannon first released his "I Can't Breathe... Again!" video on May 31 on Twitter, including footage of George Floyd's death in Minneapolis. The black and white video even featured Cannon recreating Floyd's death, with his face on the ground and someone's knee on his neck. "Our voices have been quarantined COVID 19-60s to 1619," Cannon said in the video. "Jamestown choked me, sold me, shackles hold me tightly, by my neck, and I can't breathe... Again. 2020 ain't no f— vision , on your Tell-Lie-Vision, of why I'm living as a prejudged Villain!"
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Later, Cannon says, "Y'all worried about this pandemic when our grandparents still trying to recover from when you gave them Syphilis! Because in our blood, We scared of the white cells. Attacking our immunity. The system. Defective. Infected. So Who has the disease you or me? Because I'm at a disease, disadvantage, dismantled, disability, of your white knees killing me."
While Cannon may have thought to share the video again was a good idea, many Instagram followers were not having it, especially due to his recent controversy. "Nah I'm good on your empty words [peace sign] and you let them Jews aka white people distract you so we good," one person wrote. "Can't play both sides," another commented. "Boy you aren't bout this black life, you ran from fire," another wrote. Another chimed in, "Nah talk about us being the real Jews some more you ain't slick."
On Monday, Cannon shared another Instagram post about brushing off the controversy. "While y'all keep talking... I will keep reading," Cannon wrote, alongside a photo of the books How to Fight Anti-Semitism by Bari Weiss and Christopher Columbus and the Afrikan Holocaust by John Henrick Clarke. "But trust, my third eye is paying attention. Education is key so my weekly book reports will still be delivered on these by the end of the week." He included the hashtag "stay focused."
Following Cannon's apologies earlier this month, he made several attempts to show he was educating himself, including speaking with Cooper, the Director of Global Social Action Agenda at the Simon Wiesenthal Center. During his interview with Cooper on Class, Cannon said it was "talking about how amazing Black people were, but it hurt so many people that weren't a part of that community while I was trying to encourage and uplift my own community" when he made his controversial remarks. He said he would not condone "hateful demagoguery," but he still defended his decision to quote the controversial Louis Farrakhan. Cooper said he believed Cannon was sincere and serious about moving forward. "If what I'm hearing is an interest and a commitment to want to do things together to move forward for the betterment of people, that'll be the proof of the pudding," the Rabbi said.
In the fallout from the controversy, ViacomCBS fired Cannon from Wild 'N Out, the sketch comedy series he created for MTV. However, Fox said he would keep his job as host of The Masked Singer after he apologized. The show will return in the fall, despite the coronavirus pandemic.