Caleb Kennedy racist video: What did the American Idol finalist say?

AMERICAN Idol finalist Caleb Kennedy has sensationally dropped out of the show.

The shock decision came after a allegedly racist video involving the 16-year-old singer resurfaced.

What is Caleb Kennedy's KKK video?

On May 12, 2021 a controversial video of contestant Caleb Kennedy resurfaced online.

The clip shows the teenager sat next to a friend wearing a “KKK-style” hood. 

In the video the 16-year-old South Carolina native can be seen sat next to a pal who is wearing a cone-shaped white hood that covered his face with only eye holes cut out. 

The outfit resembled the uniform for the Ku Klux Klan – a white supremacist terrorist hate group formed in 1865. 

How did the racist video surface?

It is reported the video had once featured on Caleb's social media from when he was younger – although it is not clear how old he was at the time.

It is not known who reposted the clip.

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

“I hate this has happened and how Caleb is being portrayed by people online,” Anita 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.”

What has Caleb Kennedy said?

After he received backlash for the video resurfacing, Caleb announced on his social media that he has left the ABC singing competition. 

"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,” he wrote in a lengthy apology. 

He continued: “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.”

Will Caleb be replaced on American Idol

On May 11, 2021 Caleb was voted into American Idol's Top 5 for season 19.

Despite being just a teen, country crooner Caleb was often praised for his deep vocals by judges Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan.

He was due to be one of finalists alongsideChayce Beckham, Grace Kinstler, Willie Spence and Casey Bishop to be in the top 5.

Now that there will be one less person than originally planned on the next show (May 16, 2021) and there will be just a single elimination rather than a double.

Reports also claim that producers do NOT plan on replacing Caleb with another contender – and just the top 4 will continue.

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