- Nick Cannon was fired from ViacomCBS after the company condemned anti-Semitic comments he made on his podcast.
- Cannon claimed Black people could not be anti-Semitic because “the Semitic people are Black people.” He also praised the anti-Semitic Nation of Islam leader Minister Louis Farrakhan and brought up conspiracy theories about the Rothschilds.
- Cannon slammed ViacomCBS in a Facebook post, saying he would not be “bullied, silenced, or continuously oppressed” by any company. He is demanding full ownership of MTV’s “Wild ‘N Out,” which he hosts and produces.
- He also apologized to the Jewish community and said it was never his intention to be hurtful.
Cannon Blasts ViacomCBS
Nick Cannon is taking shots at ViacomCBS after the company severed ties with him Tuesday over anti-Semitic comments he made on his podcast “Cannon’s Class.”
In a 1,500 word Facebook status on Wednesday morning, the TV host said he would not be “bullied, silenced, or continuously oppressed” by any group or company.”
“I am disappointed that Viacom does not understand or respect the power of the black community,” he wrote, later alleging that the company has banned ads regarding George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.
Cannon had been with Viacom since he was a kid on Nickelodeon. He later became the Chairman of TeenNick and went on to become a producer and host for other major projects. Among his most recent ventures for the network was hosting MTV’s “Wild ‘N Out.”
“I created a billion-dollar brand that expanded across a multitiered empire that is still Viacom’s biggest digital brand, touring business, talent discovery and incubation system and successful restaurant franchise,” Cannon claimed. “Based on trust and empty promises, my ownership was swindled away from me.”
Cannon is now demanding an apology from ViacomCBS, and for full ownership of “Wild ‘N Out.” He is ousting was announced Tuesday.
Anti-Semitic Comments on “Cannon’s Class” Podcast
In the 90 minute episode from late June, Cannon spoke to rapper Richard Griffin, known as Professor Griff, who was previously in Public Enemy until he exited the group in 1989 after making anti-Semitic comments. At the time, he told the Washington Times that he could prove that “Jews are wicked” and claimed that Jewish people are responsible for “the majority of wickedness that goes on across the globe.”
While his exact words were not brought up, the controversy regarding them was. Griffith continued to defend himself, and Cannon said that Griffith was “fearless” and speaking the truth.
“In order for me to be anti-Semitic, I would have to be anti-Black man, anti-Black woman, anti-Black people, anti-Africa, anti-all of the people,” Griffith said.
“Because the Semitic people are Black people,” Cannon added. “So y’all get that clarity, the Semitic people are Black people.”
Cannon also mentioned the Rothschilds, a family that is the subject of many anti-Semitic conspiracy theories. He mentioned them a handful of times, including after Griffith claimed that Jewish people control six main media corporations in America.
“Who are they? When we speak of the six corporations, when we go as deep as the Rothschilds, centralized banking, the 13 families, the bloodlines that control everything even outside of America,” Cannon said.
Cannon also repeatedly praised the controversial Nation of Islam leader Minister Louis Farrakhan, who has long been known for making anti-Semitic comments. Cannon referred to him as “honorable” and defended him against criticisms of anti-Semitism.
Cannon also referred to Black people as the “true Hebrews.”
“So then, these people who didn’t have what we have, and when I say we I speak of the melanated people, they had to be savages, they had to be barbaric,” Cannon said at one point. “Whether it’s ‘Jewish people,’ ‘white people, ‘Europeans,’ ‘the illuminati,’ they were doing that as a survival tactic.”
Viacom CBS Severs Ties
These remarks received a substantial amount of backlash from those who said they were deeply rooted in anti-Semitic conspiracy theories. The American Jewish Committee called them “abhorrent and unacceptable.”
When announcing that they were severing ties with the star, ViacomCBS said they condemn “bigotry of any kind and we categorically denounce all forms of anti-Semitism.”
“We have spoken with Nick Cannon about an episode of his podcast ‘Cannon’s Class’ on YouTube, which promoted hateful speech and spread anti-Semitic conspiracy theories,” the company wrote in a statement. “While we support ongoing education and dialogue in the fight against bigotry, we are deeply troubled that Nick has failed to acknowledge or apologize for perpetuating anti-Semitism, and we are terminating our relationship with him.”
“We are committed to doing better in our response to incidents of anti-Semitism, racism, and bigotry,” ViacomCBS added.
In his Wednesday post denouncing Viacom, Cannon apologized to the Jewish community. He claimed he has received support from them during this controversy.
“I must apologize to my Jewish Brothers and Sisters for putting them in such a painful position, which was never my intention, but I know this whole situation has hurt many people and together we will make it right,” he wrote.
“As for Viacom, who is now on the wrong side of history, I will continue to pray for you,” he continued. “I don’t blame any individual, I blame the oppressive and racist infrastructure.”
He also acknowledged the comments in a Facebook post and Twitter thread on Monday.
“Anyone who knows me knows that I have no hate in my heart nor malice intentions. I do not condone hate speech nor the spread of hateful rhetoric,” he wrote, before saying that the “Black and Jewish communities have both faced enormous hatred, oppression persecution and prejudice for thousands of years and in many ways have and will continue to work together to overcome these obstacles.”
He called for open dialogue in conversations about anti-racism and social justice and maintained that everyone must work to educate one another for any of these issues to get better.
Some, including Sean Combs, also known as P Diddy, shared support for Cannon. Combs said Cannon is welcome to come to his network, Revolt TV.
See what others are saying: (Deadline) (USA Today) (New York Times)
JoJo Siwa Swatted After Coming Out as Member of LGBTQ+ Community
- In an Instagram live on Saturday, YouTube star JoJo Siwa confirmed that police were called to her house on a false report, a dangerous trend commonly referred to as swatting.
- The incident happened hours after Siwa publicly confirmed that she is a member of the LGBTQ+ community.
- Siwa believes members of the media may have called the police in an effort to force her out of her home so they could photograph her amid the excitement surrounding her announcement.
JoJo Siwa’s House Gets Swatted
JoJo Siwa, the 17-year old YouTube star who is massively popular among kids, was swatted at her home on Saturday, hours after coming out as a member of the LGBTQ+ community.
During an Instagram Live with her videographer Nate Javier, Siwa confirmed that officers from the Los Angeles Police Department were called to her house on a false report.
Everyone inside had to step out with their hands up. As this happened, Siwa says paparazzi came out from around the corner.
She believes the media called the police to force her outside so they could photograph her while there was so much excitement surrounding her coming out.
She called the incident “really scary” but said that she is safe and fine.
“For me it was no big deal to walk outside my house. I’m okay,” she said. “But I feel bad because there was about 50 police at our house and those police could have had much better time spent somewhere else actually helping somebody instead of dealing with a fake claim from paparazzi.”
Siwa Comes Out
Siwa made headlines over the weekend as fans began to speculate that she might be coming out. They were first tipped off by a handful of TikToks she appeared in, including one where she lip-synched to “Born This Way” by Lady Gaga. Then on Friday, Siwa shared a photo of herself wearing a shirt from her cousin that said “Best. Gay. Cousin. Ever.”
Many took this photo as her coming out and began to celebrate her for sharing this. On Saturday the star went live on Instagram confirming that she is part of the LGTBQ community. She thanked her fans for their support.
“I have never ever ever been this happy before and it feels awesome,” she said.
Siwa said she is not yet ready to specifically label herself and that right now she is just happy to be open and sharing this part of her life with the public.
“The reason I’m not ready to say this answer is because I don’t really know this answer,” she explained.
“I wanna share everything with the world. I really do. But I also want to keep things in my life private until they are ready to be public,” Siwa continued. “Right now what matters is that you guys know that no matter who you love, that it’s okay.”
Praise for Siwa Rolls In
Many stars have applauded Siwa online, including actress Kerry Washington, singer Lil Nas X, and YouTubers Liza Koshy and Colleen Ballinger.
“You’ve got our love,” Koshy wrote. “Shine on as always!”
“This is the happiest I’ve ever seen you,” Ballinger said. “You’re absolutely glowing and I’m so proud of the woman you are becoming.
Many were also quick to point out the potential impact her coming out could have considering her large following of young people.
“JoJo Siwa’s decision to share her truth with the world is a powerful moment,” wrote Sarah Kate Ellis, the president of GLAAD.
“As one of the most influential young role models today, Jojo’s story is a reminder for LGBTQ youth to love who they are and to find safe and welcoming environments to speak out.”
See what others are saying: (BuzzFeed News) (Newsweek) (Seventeen)
Joe Rogan Says Grimes Did Not Give Dave Chappelle COVID-19
- Comedian Dave Chappelle is under quarantine after testing positive for COVID-19. He is asymptomatic and his remaining shows in Austin, Texas have been canceled.
- The news comes just days after Chappelle was photographed with Joe Rogan, Elon Musk, Grimes, and several others backstage at one of his Austin performances.
- “Because people are asking, I was not exposed to the person who had covid and I have tested negative every day this week,” Rogan wrote on Instagram Friday. “Also, the person that gave covid to Dave was NOT Elon’s partner @grimes.”
Chappelle Tests Positive
Comedian Dave Chappelle has tested positive for coronavirus and is currently under quarantine, according to one of his representatives.
In a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, that rep also confirmed that he is currently asymptomatic and has canceled all of his remaining shows at Stubbs Waller Creek Amphitheater in Austin, Texas.
“Chappelle has safely conducted socially-distanced shows in Ohio since June 2020 and he moved those shows to Austin during the winter,” the statement read.
“Chappelle implemented COVID-19 protocols which included rapid testing for the audience and daily testing for himself and his team. His diligent testing enabled him to immediately respond by quarantining, thus mitigating the spread of the virus,” it continued.
Joe Rogan Speaks Out After He Was Photographed With Chappelle
Two of the remaining Austin shows were supposed to include fellow comedian Joe Rogan. Rogan took to Instagram Friday morning to announce that they will be rescheduled as soon as possible.
Still, many fans had questions about Rogan’s current state of health. The news of Chappelle’s positive test comes just days after he was photographed maskless with Rogan, Tesla CEO Elon Musk, musician Grimes, and several others backstage at one of his Austin performances.
Since Grimes, who is also in a relationship with Musk, recently had COVID, many were concerned that she may have exposed the group. Others wondered if Chappelle may have spread it.
Rogan eventually updates his Instagram caption to dismiss the ideas.
“Because people are asking, I was not exposed to the person who had covid and I have tested negative every day this week,” he wrote.“Also, the person that gave covid to Dave was NOT Elon’s partner @grimes.”
See what others are saying: (The Hollywood Reporter) (CNN) (AP News)
Netflix Passes 200M Subscribers as Other Streamers Struggle With Retention
- In a letter to shareholders, Netflix said it has hit over 200 million subscribers following a successful year of growth.
- The pandemic gave Netflix a significant subscriber boost in March and April. The company continued to perform well even in its final quarter, gaining 8.5 million subscribers when it was only projected to add 6 million.
- The data also highlights how relatively unaffected Netflix has been by new streaming services entering the market. While companies like Disney+, HBO Max, and Peacock continue to grow, they also struggle to retain the subscribers that sign up.
Netflix Passes 200 Million Subscribers
Netflix has topped 200 million subscribers following a year of strong growth in 2020.
In its Tuesday letter to shareholders, Netflix announced that it added 8.5 million subscribers in its fourth quarter. This exceeds projections, which estimated the streaming giant would only add around 6 million. In total, Netflix gained 37 million new memberships throughout 2020, bringing the company to 203.6 million subscribers.
Pandemic lockdowns gave Netflix a substantial boost in March in April. In the company’s first two quarters, it added a combined 25.7 million subscribers. According to data from the letter, Netflix had added over 10 million more subscribers by May of 2020 than it had by May of 2019.
When it comes to the success of their fourth quarter, Netflix pointed to shows like “Bridgerton” and “The Crown.” The fourth season of “The Crown” hit the platform in November, prompting many to return to older seasons of the show. Netflix claims the series has been viewed by 100 million households since it first aired in 2016.
Success Amid Growth of Competition
The year 2020 could have been a difficult one for Netflix as new streaming services entered the market. Disney+, Apple TV+, HBO Max, Peacock and more have all made waves with their original programming or by taking some of their brand’s content from Netflix to host on their own site. User-based content on YouTube and TikTok also became increasingly popular throughout the pandemic, further posing as a threat to Netflix.
Still, it reached a massive milestone.
“Our strategy is simple: if we can continue to improve Netflix every day to better delight our members, we can be their first choice for streaming entertainment,” Netflix said in the letter. “This past year is a testament to this approach.”
Netflix potentially sees Disney+ as the biggest competitor among new platforms. In its letter, the company noted that the streamer added 87 million subscribers in its first year. In a Q&A, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings seemed enthusiastic about this competition.
“It’s super impressive what Disney’s done,” he said. “It’s going to be great for the world that Disney and Netflix are competing show-by-show, movie-by-movie. We’re very fired up about catching them in family animation, maybe eventually passing them, we’ll see. It’s a long way to go just to catch them, and maintaining our lead in general entertainment that’s so stimulating like ‘Bridgerton,’ which I don’t think you’re going to see on Disney anytime soon.”
Streamers Struggle with Retaining Subscribers
Even as new streamers have had impressive years, there is one hurdle that many are still struggling to jump over: retaining the subscribers who sign up. The Los Angeles Times named Disney+, HBO Max, Peacock, and Apple TV+ in particular, writing that people create accounts with these services, watch the TV shows or movies they are interested in, and cancel once they are done.
An October survey from Deloitte said that 46% of respondents canceled at least one streaming service in the last 6 months, which is up 20% from January of last year. Most who had canceled said they did so because they had finished watching whatever programming it was that brought them to that service.
Places like Disney+ and HBO Max are really vulnerable to this because they have banked on drawing people in with exclusive marquis titles like “Hamilton” or “Wonder Woman 1984.” However, since they are newer, they are still building their original programming catalog, meaning that people can quickly burn through highlight titles.