American Idol finalist Caleb Kennedy is out as a contestant on the hit ABC show after a video surfaced of him sitting next to someone wearing what appears to be a KKK-style hood.
“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,” the 16-year-old singer announced Wednesday on Instagram. “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,” Caleb Kennedy added in his statement. “I’m so sorry! I pray that I can one day regain your trust i who I am and have your respect! Thank you for supporting me.”
The singer’s mother, Anita Guy, told MSN that the 3-second video clip — which was recorded when her son was 12 years old — “had nothing to do with the Ku Klux Klan.”
“I hate this has happened and how Caleb is being portrayed by people online,” Guy 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,” Kennedy’s mother added. “Caleb doesn’t have a racist bone in his body. He loves everyone and has friends of all races.”
THIS SHOULD’VE STAYED IN YOUR DRAFTS: American Idol contestant Caleb Kennedy allegedly seen in a resurfaced with someone wearing a KKK hood. Caleb is allegedly blocking anyone who mentions the video, according to multiple reports. pic.twitter.com/9OKHmvOCEB
— Def Noodles (@defnoodles) May 12, 2021
A representative for American Idol confirmed to New York Post that Kennedy will no longer be moving forward in the competition on the show.