Rabbi: Cannon 'genuinely concerned' after apology, meeting

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This image provided by Rabbi Abraham Cooper shows Cooper, left, and Nick Cannon during a conversation on Thursday, July 17, 2020, in Burbank, Calif. (Rabbi Abraham Cooper via AP)

A prominent rabbi who met with Nick Cannon says the television host and producer is “genuinely concerned about the hurt” he caused by making anti-Semitic remarks, and they intend to work together to reject hate.

Cannon apologized to the Jewish community this week for his “hurtful and divisive” words, a day after ViacomCBS cut ties with him for the comments made on a podcast where he discussed racial bias, and following a phone conversation with Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s associate dean.

Cooper asked him to post the apology on social media, and then met with him Thursday for a three-hour conversation at Cannon’s business headquarters in Burbank, California.

“He appears to be someone who’s genuine in his desire to make sure people understand his apology,” Cooper told The Associated Press.

“But also ... not to move forward saying, ‘OK, I have to go back to my regular things, thank you for helping to give me a lifeline after this terrible error.’ That wasn’t it. The thrust was: ’OK. Now, what do we do? How do we roll up our sleeves? What can we do together?'"

Cooper said that he’s confident that Cannon will use his wide-ranging social media presence to talk openly about mistakes, fight for social justice and reject messages of hate.

“It could have a very, very positive impact on young people” Cooper said.

Cooper said he will meet with Cannon again next week and show him historic documents preserved at the Wiesenthal museum including a 1919 letter by Adolf Hitler painting Jews as Germany's post-World War I enemies.