In a new episode of ABC News’ “Soul of a Nation,” the actor/producer sat down with reporter Linsey Davis about how he’s used his time to educate himself and atone for his bigoted comments.
“I’ve always said that apologies are empty. Apologies are weightless,” Cannon in a clip from Good Monring America. “In Hebrew they call it, you know, ‘Teshuva,’ the process of not only you know, repenting, but through that — if you’re ever met with a similar situation that you make a different decision. That goes beyond apologizing. And I’m on this journey of atonement, not to get a job, not to gain any more money because that’s not what’s needed here. I’m doing this because it’s the right thing to do.”
“My journey’s not gonna stop, whether the person watching this forgives me or not,” Cannon added. “I’m still gonna hopefully through this process, be on the right side of history and bring people closer together.”
During this summer, Cannon spoke with rapper Richard “Professor Griff” Griffin on his podcast “Cannon’s Class” and promoted conspiracy theories about the Jewish people. The episode was later removed by YouTube and other platforms for violating the company’s “policy on hate speech.”
ViacomCBS fired Cannon, 40, for his words, and the “Wild ‘N Out” star later wrote a lengthy apology on Twitter.
“First and foremost I extend my deepest and most sincere apologies to my Jewish sisters and brothers for the hurtful and divisive words that came out of my mouth during my interview with Richard Griffin,” he wrote. “They reinforced the worst stereotypes of a proud and magnificent people and I feel ashamed of the uninformed and naïve place that these words came from. The video of this interview has since been removed.”
Cannon added: “While the Jewish experience encompasses more than 5,000 years and there is so much I have yet to learn, I have had at least a minor history lesson over the past few days and to say that it is eye-opening would be a vast understatement.”
Cannon concluded his statement by saying he has consulted with religious and community leaders who have been educating him over the past few days since the controversy broke out and he is committed to bettering his understanding of the issue.
In February, ViacomCBS rehired Cannon and told USA Today that the host has “taken responsibility for his comments” and “worked to educate himself.”
Cannon’s work included meeting with Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the associate dean of Simon Wiesenthal Center’s associate dean, and Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, to have an open discussion about anti-Semitism in America.
Fox kept Cannon on as host of “The Masked Singer” but condemned his words.
“Nick has sincerely apologized, and quickly taken steps to educate himself and make amends. On that basis and given a belief that this moment calls for dialogue, we will move forward with Nick and help him advance this important conversation, broadly. Fox condemns all forms of hate directed toward any community and we will combat bigotry of any kind,” the network told Fox News in a statement in July.
Fox News’ Tyler McCarthy contributed to this report.