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American Idol finalist Caleb Kennedy exits show following the surfacing of racist social media video

American Idol finalist Caleb Kennedy exits show following the surfacing of racist social media video


Caleb Kennedy announced on Instagram Wednesday (May. 12, 2021) that he is leaving American Idol immediately, after a controversial social media video from his past surfaced.

Kennedy appears in the Snapchat post seated beside someone wearing what appears to be a Ku Klux Klan hood. Kennedy’s family said the video was recorded when he was 12-years-old.

Caleb Kennedy announced on his Instagram

“Hey y’all, this is gonna be a bit of a surprise, but I am no longer gonna be on American Idol. There was a video that surfaced on the internet and it displayed actions that were not meant to be taken in that way. I was younger and did not think about the actions, but that’s not an excuse. I wanna say sorry to all my fans and everyone who I have let down. I’ll be taking a little time off social media to better myself, but saying that, I know this has hurt and disappointed a lot of people and made people lose respect for me. I’m so sorry! I pray that I can one day regain your trust in who I am and have your respect! Thank you for supporting me.”

Kennedy’s mom, Anita Gay, spoke to South Carolina’s Spartanburg Herald-Journal, telling her local paper that the video was made when Kennedy was 12 years old and that he and his friends were imitating a horror movie, not the KKK.

“I hate this has happened and how Caleb is being portrayed by people online,” Guy told the paper. “This video was taken after Caleb had watched the movie The Strangers: Prey at Night and they were imitating those characters. It had nothing to do with the Ku Klux Klan, but I know that’s how it looks. Caleb doesn’t have a racist bone in his body. He loves everyone and has friends of all races.”

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