16-year-old American Idol finalist Caleb Kennedy has dropped out of the show after a video of him standing next to someone wearing a Ku Klux Klan hood went viral.
Kennedy shared the following statement to his Instagram.
“Hey y’all, this is gonna be a bit of a surprise but I am no longer gonna be on ‘American Idol,'” he wrote.
“There was a video that surfaced on the internet and it displayed actions that were not meant to be taken in that way. 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.”
The teen’s mother also addressed the video to MSN:
“I hate this has happened and how Caleb is being portrayed by people online,” Anita 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. Caleb doesn’t have a racist bone in his body. He loves everyone and has friends of all races.”
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