BROOKLYN (JNS) – A New York assemblywoman has come under fire for defending actor, rapper, director and TV host Nick Cannon, who recently was criticized and has since apologized for making anti-Semitic remarks.
Diana Richardson, a Democrat who represents the 43rd district in Brooklyn, which includes the heavily Jewish neighborhood of Crown Heights, called on her Instagram followers to boycott media companies under ViacomCBS, which fired Cannon earlier this month for propagating anti-Semitic conspiracy theories and praised Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, who has an extensive history of making anti-Jewish remarks.
Cannon made those remarks during the June 30 episode of his YouTube podcast, “Cannon’s Class,” in which the host of the Fox show “The Masked Singer” spoke with Richard Griffin, a member of the hip-hop group Public Enemy until the late 1980s.
After coming under fire for supporting Cannon, Richardson doubled down her support in a Facebook post.
“Songwriter Neyo summed it up best: ‘We’ve all made mistakes. Amazing how easily people forget that while in an attempt to crucify someone else,’” she wrote.
Richardson called the backlash against Cannon a “witch hunt.”
Richardson’s Facebook post caused another backlash.
“It’s irresponsible for any elected official — and particularly one who represents such a large Jewish constituency — to be propagating antisemitic tropes,” said City Councilman Chaim Deutsch on Wednesday. “I hope that Assemblymember Richardson will make an effort to understand the painful impacts of her words on Jewish New Yorkers.”
Simcha Eichenstein, a Democratic assemblyman who also represents Brooklyn, said on Thursday there’s “absolutely no place for anti-Semitism, racism or any form of hate.”
Later, Richardson told the Chabad Lubavitch Community News Service that she does not “condone anti-Semitism” and that Cannon’s remarks were “uncalled for” and “distasteful.”