Nick Cannon is continuing to apologize for his anti-Semitic comments, appearing on the American Jewish Committee's online program AJC Advocacy Anywhere for a conversation about his identity and the relationship between the Black and Jewish community with Rabbi Noam Marans. The AJC's director of interreligious and intergroup relations said he has been meeting with Cannon since the comments he made last month during an interview with Richard Griffin, aka Professor Griff of Public Enemy, to help the comedian understand his "hurtful words."
"I must first say, I'm sorry," he began, comparing his apology journey to when children go outside and throw rocks. "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. My words hurt people." After his comments, which espoused anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, ViacomCBS severed ties with the Wild 'N Out creator.
Cannon said that his goal in having these conversations is to "break down the walls and barriers amongst communities and bring us closer together," adding, "It truly is time to get rid of all of the things that divide us and utilize this moment." Expressing his desire to bring the Black and Jewish communities together and build community centers, Cannon said he never wanted "two oppressed" groups "going at each other," and said Jewish people are "the most attacked people on the basis of faith," while Black people are "the most attacked people on the basis of race."
"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 continued. "Now, let's get through this process of truth and reconciliation," Cannon added that his family on his mother's side of the family is Jewish, making his comments especially hurtful for those close to him. He didn't want to tout his heritage as "an excuse" earlier in his apologies, but Cannon said he had previously discussed the issue with Marans.
"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," he explained, noting previously, "When they hate, they don't discriminate. African-Americans and Jews in this country have to fight the common enemy of hate."