1:52 PM PDT, May 13, 2021
Caleb Kennedy was one of the top contestants on this season of “American Idol,” but now he’s out after a controversial video surfaced on social media that shows him beside someone wearing what looks to be a white Ku Klux Klan hood.
The 16-year-old had advanced to the final five of the singing competition and was favored to win the whole thing, until now.
“I want to say sorry to all my fans and everyone who I have let down,” Caleb wrote on Instagram.
The teen says the video was “not meant to be taken in that way.”
Caleb’s mom says the video was taken when Caleb was 12 years old after he watched the movie “The Strangers: Prey At Night.”
“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,” his mom reportedly said.
Caleb is the second top “Idol” contender to abruptly walk off the show this season. Three weeks ago, 20-year-old Wyatt Pike left the show after making it into the top 12, citing unexplained “personal reasons.”
Caleb says he’s taking time off social media to “better himself.”