Nick Cannon stirred a lot of people up last week when he posted photos of himself on Instagram wearing white makeup as his Caucasian alter ego, Connor Smallnut, according to USA Today. Comedian and musician Cannon appeared in a live interview with George Stephanopoulos on Good Morning America on Monday (March 31st), in an attempt to explain the photos.
US Weekly states that Cannon captioned his white-face photo with, “It’s official…I’m white!!!”
Along with the white-face photos he posted on Instagram, Cannon also had a collection of videos in which he adopted mannerisms that are stereotypically “white,” according to National Post.
“I knew it would spark controversy,” Cannon said in the Good Morning America interview, “but I felt like it’s a conversation that we needed because we all have differences we embrace. I talk about it in my standup all the time. It’s not a new conversation, but a topic of sensationalism.”
Cannon, whose new album, White People Party Music comes out in stores today (April 1st), said that he posted the photos because everyone is so sensitive about race. As for why he picked the particular title that he did for the album, Cannon had this to say, “As a DJ, you name all your different playlists and your crates that you keep your music in. I had all these crates, and thought about mixing them from Dirty South to Midwest – and one crate is called White People Party Music,” he said, “It’s hilarious – when I came up with that title, I thought I have to name my album that. I just kind of stuck with it from there.”
Cannon further explained that he does not even know what white-face is. “This term that we created. I was doing a character impression. Black-face is about oppression.”
The whole thing was meant to be fun and to promote his new album, according to Cannon, and not about hatred.
In the interview, Stephanopoulos eventually brought up a question that someone had posted on Facebook. “Would it be the same if Eminem’s album was (titled) Black People Rapper Music?” Cannon’s answer to this question was that if Eminem had an album with that title, it would probably still go platinum.
White People Party Music is Cannon’s first album in more than a decade. Of the album, he said, “I’m an artist. I get the opportunity to create. Everything’s going to come with consequences and a little heat, but if I can take the heat, let’s ride.”