American Idol finalist Caleb Kennedy quits show following racist social media post – fr

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American Idol finalist Caleb Kennedy quits show following racist social media post – fr


American Idol finalist Caleb Kennedy is leaving the ABC show after a redesign of a social media post featuring him sitting next to and filming someone wearing what appears to be a Ku Klux Klan balaclava.

Variety confirmed that Kennedy, 16, is no longer in the competition and that Sunday’s episode will feature the show’s top four singers with a nominee elimination.

The video in question shows a young Kennedy sitting next to a person wearing a white balaclava similar to those adopted as a symbol of hatred by the white supremacist national terrorist group Ku Klux Klan.

In a statement on his social media, Kennedy, from Roebuck, South Carolina, spoke about the video and his elimination from “American Idol.”

“Hey all of you, it’s going to be a bit of a surprise, but I won’t be on ‘American Idol’ anymore. There was a video that surfaced on the internet and it showed actions that weren’t meant to be taken in this way, ”Kennedy wrote. “I was younger and I wasn’t thinking about stocks, but that’s no excuse. I want to say sorry to all my fans and everyone I have let down. I’m going to take some time outside of social media to improve myself, but in saying this I know it has hurt and disappointed a lot of people and made people lose respect for me. I am really sorry! I pray that one day I will be able to regain your trust in who I am and have your respect! Thanks for putting up with me. “

In a statement to the Herald-Journal, Kennedy’s mother Anita Guy said the video was taken when Kennedy was 12, after watching the movie “The Strangers: Prey at Night,” in which a character wears a balaclava on the head.

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

Kennedy is a country singer who performs covers of Willie Nelson and Jason Aldean on “Idol,” as well as some of his own original songs. He survived the show’s last cut, by seven to five finalists, on Sunday night. When judges Katy Perry, Luke Bryan and Lionel Ritchie return this weekend, four finalists will compete for first place. They will each sing an original song, the performances of which have been pre-recorded – Kennedy’s was called “Raised on Dirt”. Finneas, the Grammy-winning producer and brother of Billie Eilish, should frame the hopes.

This story first appeared on Variety.com.

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