Variety reports that Cannon’s ownership of his mistake, of which he said he was “ashamed,” and his strides to educate himself, which includes hosting the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Rabbi Abraham Cooper on his podcast, has allowed for ViacomCBS to rethink working with the comedian in the future. The company’s president of entertainment youth brands, Chris McCarthy, said at an employee town hall Monday that he was happy about the work Cannon has been doing to educate himself and is “hopeful” for a new partnership.
“I don’t know if anyone has been following Nick’s journey since the incident–I have, and the thing that’s unique about Nick; different from many others, is that Nick owned it,” he said. “He apologized, he said it was wrong. He has been on a journey of learning and understanding, and more importantly, he is using his voice to help educate people and is becoming an advocate on this issue. This is consistent with the Nick I’ve known for 10 years. “
McCarthy said that looking back on the situation, he is regretful the company didn’t have their new “Cultural Code,” guidelines promoting inclusivity, sooner, adding that it was “a shame” that it took Cannon’s incident “for us to take a step back and have a clear process in place to address issues like this.” McCarthy said the incident made him think about what he and the company could have done better, as well as what can they do to prevent issues like this from occurring in the future.
“I struggle with the fact that Nick, a longtime partner and friend of ours, is on this journey and we’re not part of that journey,” he said. “And that’s honestly where the new ‘Cultural Code’ came from and bringing in social justice partners so we all have the base-level education. And if I could change anything, I would have asked us to build that two years ago.”
Variety reports that Cannon and ViacomCBS have been talking recently, according to a source, but said that there is currently nothing planned right now between the comedian and the company. However, McCarthy’s statement of wanting to be on the same journey as Cannon could cause people to speculate that Cannon’s value to ViacomCBS hasn’t been forgotten.
This comes after Nick Cannon’s efforts to learn about the Jewish community have restarted talks with ViacomCBS.
Cannon was let go from ViacomCBS in June because of an episode of his Cannon’s Class podcast which featured anti-Semitic talking points. ViacomCBS includes MTV, which aired Cannon’s popular show Wild ‘N Out, among its networks.