American Idol contestant Caleb Kennedy is no longer participating in the singing competition.
His departure comes after a video surfaced of the South Carolina native hanging out with a friend wearing a white Ku Klux Klan hood.
A spokesperson for the ‘Idol’ released the following statement:
“American Idol contestant Caleb Kennedy will no longer be moving forward in the competition. Sunday’s episode will feature the Top 4 with one contestant elimination.”
In a statement shared to his Instagram, Caleb — who was one of the final five contestants on the current season of Idol — addressed the video, saying that 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,” he said. “I wanna say sorry to all my fans and everyone who I let down.”
The 16-year-old also said that he will “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!” he added. “I pray that I can one day regain your trust in who I am and have your respect! Thank you for supporting me.”
According to Caleb’s mother, Anita Guy, the video was taken when he was 12 years old.
“I hate this has happened and how Caleb is being portrayed by people online,” she told the Herald-Journal. “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.”
We know she’s protecting her baby, but we know a Klan hood when we see one.