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‘I Wanted to Show People I Was Smart’: Nick Cannon Reflects on Past Controversial Statements and Whether He Censors Himself Now

Television personality Nick Cannon knows a thing or two about landing in controversy and ultimately getting out–and now he’s reflecting on those experiences and how it’s impacted the version of himself he plans to be.

In a recent Q&A with ABC News, the Nickelodeon alum reflected on his anti-Semitic scandal, which nearly tarnished his career and how it shifted what he now says in the public eye.

Nick Cannon attends Michael B. Jordan’s MBJAM at Dave & Buster’s Hollywood on July 27, 2019 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Tiffany Rose/Getty Images for Lupus LA)

After taking the time out to “step back and listen,” the 40-year-old is now posed to debut in his new nationally syndicated daytime talk show “Nick Cannon,” and appears to be taking advantage of his seemingly new lease on his career.  

“I listened to so many, and I’ve grown in any measure now,” the actor says of his growth since the controversy sparked in July 2020. He continued, “I’ve always been someone who is kind of an introvert. But even now, I kind of ponder and meditate and pray before I speak. Before, I was trying to be the first one with the answer. I wanted to show people I was smart.” 

“I wanted to even prove to my own kids that I have an education and I read two books a week and I do essays. All of that stuff is great. But when you allow your ego to kind of like ‘show you how smart I am,’ it can definitely come off the wrong way,” he added.

When the “Love Don’t Cost a Thing” star voiced his divisive remarks on his “Cannon’s Class” podcast show, he was met with backlash instantly. He ultimately issued several apologies and met with prominent members of the Jewish community. 

Cannon said in the aftermath of his career glitch, “it’s all about focusing on our likelihood that we cannot be without the other at any point.”

Still, despite a refreshed outlook, Cannon knows there’s another possibility of another fallout, but he’s prepared. “I’m probably going to get in trouble again for saying something. I would be worried about it if my heart was not in the right place. That’s the beauty of people getting to see me every single day. I was joking on my set,” he explained.

The father of seven said, “I think I’m just going to put an apology sign where the applause sign goes, because of my humor, my jokes. I love having open and honest conversations but also someone who loves to play devil’s advocate, always looking at the other side. I’m just innately that person.”

The “Nick Cannon” syndicated daytime talk show is slated to premiere on Fox Television stations. In addition to a variety of guest stars, including Kevin Hart, Simon Cowell, Nicole Scherzinger and Kandi Burruss, the show is set to be filled with interviews and musical performances. The show airs on Sept. 27.


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