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13th May 2021

American Idol finalist leaves contest after video emerges online

Sarah McKenna Barry

The singer announced that he was leaving the competition last night.

Caleb Kennedy, a finalist on American Idol, has left the competition after a video emerged of him sitting next to a friend wearing what appears to be a Ku Klux Klan hood.

The video was circulated online, before Caleb commented on it and announced his departure from the competition.

He tweeted yesterday: “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. 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.”

He continued: “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.”

Caleb’s mother, Anita Guy, has said that the video was not racist, but rather that Caleb and his friend were imitating characters from a film.

She told the Herald Journal: “I hate this has happened and how Caleb is being portrayed by people online. 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.

She continued: “Caleb doesn’t have a racist bone in his body. He loves everyone and has friends of all races.”

American Idol have yet to comment officially on Caleb’s departure.