The Masked Singer host Nick Cannon sparked criticism after making anti-Semitic comments during an episode of his YouTube show, Cannon's Class. ViacomCBS fired Cannon in the wake of the remarks while former NBA player Dwyane Wade tweeted his support. However, Wade later clarified the controversial statement and explained that he "does not support hate speech."
"We are with you [Black fist emoji] Keep leading!" Wade initially wrote in a now-deleted tweet. Roughly two hours later, he said that he "wasn't supporting or condoning what Cannon said." He was expressing support of Cannon owning his content and brand. "I was too quick to respond without being fully informed about his hurtful anti-Semitic remarks. As you all know, I have ZERO tolerance for any hate speech!" Wade clarified.
Cannon initially prompted criticism during a discussion with Public Enemy figure Richard "Professor Griff" Griffin. The two men discussed anti-Semitic conspiracy theories and cited the teachings of Minister Louis Farrakhan, the leader of the Nation of Islam, a group the Southern Poverty Law Center designates as "deeply racist, anti-Semitic and anti-LGBT." Cannon referred to Black people as the "true Hebrews" and said that those lacking melanin are "a little less."
"When you'd have a person that has the lack of pigment, the lack of melanin, that they know that they will be annihilated," Cannon said in the now-deleted interview. "So, therefore, however, they got the power, they have the lack of compassion that — melanin comes with compassion. So the people that don't have it are a little — and I'm going to say this carefully — are a little less. And where the term actually comes from, because I'm bringing it all the way back around to Minister Farrakhan."
In addition to talking about the lack of melanin correlating to compassion, Cannon also compared "non-melanated" people to "savages." He clarified that he was speaking about Jewish people, white people, Europeans and the Illuminati while saying that they had to "act as animals" while living in the Nordic mountains. "They're the ones that are actually the true savages," Cannon said.
The Masked Singer host did later release a statement while deleting the YouTube interview. He said that he does not condone hate speech or hateful rhetoric. As Cannon said, it's more important to promote unity and understanding. He also welcomed any experts, spokespersons or clergy members that could hold him accountable and correct his statements.
Disclosure: PopCulture is owned by CBS Interactive, a division of ViacomCBS.