Nick Cannon says that his maternal great-grandfather was a Spanish rabbi.
The comedian made the claim while appearing on the American Jewish Committee’s online program “AJC Advocacy Anywhere,” telling the host that he only learned about his family’s Hebraic roots after he was fired from ViacomCBS last month for spouting anti-semitic comments.
“My mother has been calling me every single day since this happened with so much family history,” Cannon, 39, told Rabbi Noam Marans. “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.”
“The Masked Singer” host got himself into hot water while interviewing former Public Enemy member Richard “Professor Griff” Griffin on his YouTube show, “Cannon’s Class.”
The two referenced fringe conspiracy theories about Jewish people and Cannon claimed that black people are “true Hebrews” and praised the controversial Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.
The “America’s Got Talent” alum apologized for his “hurtful and divisive words” and later paid a visit to the Simon Weisenthal Center.
During his talk with Rabbi Noam Marans on Monday, Cannon acknowledged that he’d hurt people with his comments and, but praised himself as someone of “true character.”
“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.
“Now, let’s get through this process of truth and reconciliation,” he said.
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