Mom Of ‘American Idol’ Contestant Caleb Kennedy Speaks Out On “White Hood” Video Controversy

A person wearing a hat and a mask

There might be a little bit more to the story that caused Top 5 American Idol contestant Caleb Kennedy to leave the show.

An old video surfaced featuring one of his buddies wearing what resembled a Ku Klux Klan hood last week, in a tweet that has since been removed.

Kennedy immediately left the show after the video came out and returned to South Carolina.

Now, 16 years old and a fan-favorite on the show, he addressed the issue in a statement last week on his Twitter and Instagram, saying:

“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. 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.”

And now his Mother, Anita Guy, is speaking out over his departure.

She told The Herald-Journal he was 12 years old when the video was made and he was dressed up during the time the movies “The Strangers: Prey at Night” and “V for Vendetta” were popular, and she said he even went as the main character from “V for Vendetta” for Halloween when he was in the 7th grade.

She made it clear that he was never trying to imitate or mimic a KKK outfit in any way, noting that she understands how bad it looks and how it could be perceived poorly without context:

“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. Caleb doesn’t have a racist bone in his body.

He loves everyone and has friends of all races.” 

The country singer previously wowed judges with performances of Chris Stapleton’s “Midnight Train To Memphis” and Willie Nelson’s “On The Road Again”:

Caleb has made no further statements or comments since leaving the show, and American Idol has removed all of his performances from their official YouTube page.

According to People, Luke Bryan and the rest of the judges commented on his departure with Luke Bryan explaining how emotionally invested they as judges get in these kids:

“First and foremost, as judges, we love these kids.

We get emotionally involved in these kids. We want the best for Caleb. As far as the nuances on how ABC gets viewed, either way, decisions got made and it’s our job as judges to show up and do our best job and comment on the kids who are in front of us.

But we wish nothing but the best for Caleb. It does make for a very, very challenging and upsetting week.”

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