American Idol Finalist Exits After Video Scandal

Caleb Kennedy says video does not actually show what it appears to show
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted May 13, 2021 12:13 AM CDT
American Idol Finalist Exits Over Video Scandal
The stage at the "American Idol" farewell season finale at the Dolby Theatre on Thursday, April 7, 2016, in Los Angeles.   (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP)

The American Idol top five is down to the top four after a disturbing video of former finalist Caleb Kennedy surfaced on social media. In the Snapchat video, which the New York Post has, Kennedy is seen sitting next to someone wearing what appears to be a KKK hood. Though Kennedy says that's not, in fact, what it actually is, he still announced his exit from the show via Instagram on Wednesday. He also apologized to those he had hurt, and promised to work to regain people's trust and respect.

His mom tells MSN the video is from when Kennedy, who is now 16, was just 12. "This video was taken after Caleb had watched the movie The Strangers: Prey at Night and they were imitating those characters," she says of the hood. "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." (It was not the first abrupt departure of the season.)

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