‘American Idol’ Contestant Caleb Kennedy Exits Show After Being Spotted in Video Next to Someone Wearing KKK Hood
UPDATE (6:20 PM ET):
American Idol contestant Caleb Kennedy has exited the TV singing competition after a video of him hanging out on a couch next to an anonymous person wearing a KKK hood surfaced on social media Wednesday (May 12).
It's unclear if Kennedy left the show on his own accord or was booted by producers.
In a message shared to his Twitter account, Kennedy addressed his exit, as well as the controversy.
"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."
Kennedy added that he wants to "say sorry to all my fans and everyone I have let down," and will be taking time off social media to "better" himself.
Read his full statement, below:
ORIGINAL STORY (4 PM ET):
American Idol contestant Caleb Kennedy is under fire after reportedly being spotted in a video with an unknown person wearing a KKK hood.
On Wednesday, a video surfaced on social media which allegedly shows Kennedy sitting on a couch next to a person wearing a white KKK hood.
The 3-second apparent Snapchat clip appears to show Kennedy, or a person who looks extremely like Kennedy, sitting next to someone wearing offensive Ku Klux Klan attire. The caption reads, "bow, oh my."
The snippet was seemingly set to private and sent to another user before it surfaced online. Social media users have shared screenshots of them reportedly being blocked by the singer-songwriter after mentioning the footage on Kennedy's accounts.
As the clip circulated on Twitter, an anonymous user chimed in claiming to have gone to school with Kennedy previously.
"I go to his school I’ve known him since 6th grade and just to let u know this was a long time ago don’t act like you’ve never made a f---ing mistake," the user tweeted.
Neither Kennedy, nor American Idol, nor ABC have issued a statement regarding the alleged video at the time of this article's publication. It's still unconfirmed if the person in the video is definitely Kennedy.
Kennedy is a 16-year-old high school student from Roebuck, South Carolina. He plays country-rock music and released his own original music prior to joining the reality singing competition.
During the last episode of American Idol, he advanced to the Top 5. During the most recent episode, Kennedy performed an original song for Mother's Day and a cover of Coldplay's "Violet Hill." He also had the opportunity to sit down with the band's frontman, Chris Martin.
The three-hour American Idol finale airs May 23 on ABC.