In yet another case of selective bigotry, 16-year-old American Idol finalist Caleb Kennedy was forced to exit the show after a “controversial” video surfaced on social media.
Caleb was martyred over a social media post that resurfaced, showing him sitting next to and filming someone wearing a hood similar to those worn by the Ku Klux Klan.
In a statement, Kennedy – from Roebuck, South Carolina – addressed the video and apologized.
“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,” Kennedy wrote.
“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,” he added
Kennedy’s mother, in a separate statement, said that the video in question was taken when Kennedy was 12 after he watched a movie in which a character wears a hood.
“I hate this has happened and how Caleb is being portrayed by people online,” she said. “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.”
Kennedy is a country singer, performing covers of Willie Nelson and Jason Aldean on the popular singing competition show. This Sunday’s episode will now feature the show’s top four singers, sans Kennedy, NBC News reports.