“American Idol” finalist Caleb Kennedy has left the reality singing TV series after a KKK-themed video surfaced earlier this week.
The video appears to show Kennedy, 16, sitting next to someone wearing a Ku Klux Klan hood.
On Wednesday, Kennedy posted a statement to his Instagram account, in which he apologized for the video and admitted he would no longer be competing on “American Idol.”
“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.”
Here’s what you need to know:
Kennedy’s Mother Says the Video Was Taken Out of Context
When Caleb’s mother, Anita Guy, spoke to Go Up State, she stated that she hates how others are now treating Caleb because of the video, which she claims has been misconstrued.
Guy shared, “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.”
Since defending her son, Guy has received backlash from those who believe she was excusing Caleb’s actions.
According to The Sun, a comment posted on Guy’s Instagram page read, “We gotta do the better as parents. American Idol does not condone racism, so great let him stay in that racist bubble.”
Another reportedly wrote, “No apology from you for projecting your racist values on your kid? He got booted out of a whole competition for what y’all taught him.”
These comments appear to have been deleted from Guy’s Instagram.
Only 1 Singer Will Be Eliminated From ‘American Idol’ This Week
In light of Kennedy’s departure, only one singer will be booted off “Idol” this week. The show will feature just the top four contestants, and Kennedy, meanwhile, will be taking time away from his Instagram page, and social media, in general.
The remaining contestants are Willie Spence, Casey Bishop, Grace Kinstler, and Chayce Beckham. Each will sing three songs on Sunday’s show– one will be a song inspired by their personal idol, the second will be a duet produced by the week’s mentor, Finneas, and the third will be their winner’s singles.
In a recent article, Gold Derby reported that with Kennedy out of the competition, the tables have turned, and Casey Bishop is now expected to win the competition.
According to the outlet, she currently holds 40% of the vote. She is followed by Willie Spence with 28% of the vote, Grace Kinstler with 20% of the vote, and Chayce Beckham with 12% of the vote.
As we have seen in the past, however, America’s judging can be unpredictable, and it’s possible these numbers won’t accurately depict what happens on Sunday night.
“American Idol” will air Sunday on ABC at 5 p.m. Pacific Time, 8 p.m. Eastern Time.