Caleb Kennedy is receiving both hate and love after a controversial Snapchat got him cut from American Idol. Alum Clark Beckham sees both sides.
Country singer-songwriter Caleb Kennedy is officially cut from the top five of American Idol, and show alum Clark Beckham is sharing his thoughts on the situation. News of the 16-year-old’s forced departure came after a controversial Snapchat video surfaced. It showed Caleb, who was 12 at the time, hanging out with a friend who appeared to be wearing a white Ku Klux Klan hood. Ever since, fans of the show are split. While some feel producers made the right decision, others believe Caleb isn’t – and never was – racist. Clark, the Idol season 14 runner-up, is playing devil’s advocate for both sides.
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When Caleb auditioned, he wowed judges and viewers alike with his captivating original songs. Though he wasn’t the most outgoing in the group, always hiding in the shadows of his trusted hat, Caleb’s artistry helped him sore through the competition. On Sunday’s episode, which saw the contestants perform Coldplay and Mother’s Day songs, Caleb was named one of the final five. However, his Idol dreams came to an abrupt halt because of the video. Caleb released a public apology, stating that “the video displayed actions that were not meant to be taken in that way.” His mother also issued a statement, explaining how the boys had just finished watching The Strangers: Prey at Night, and the white hood was an attempt to look like one of the characters. She said Caleb “doesn’t have a racist bone in his body.”
On his YouTube channel, Clark Beckham gave his opinion on the matter. He admitted that no one but Caleb and his friend knows the entire truth, and proceeded to fairly assess both sides. “Worst case, he was a 12-year-old white supremacist, racist KKK enthusiast and that he’s still that way today and was showing off with his friend who had a KKK hood on,” said Clark, adding that the hood in the video resembled that of the KKK rather than the movie character. “If that’s the case, then OK, we got him off the show.” At the same time, Clark said it’s possible Caleb’s mom is telling the truth, and that everything has been a big misunderstanding. If this scenario proves true, Clark said “this sucks” because a 16-year-old had his chance on Idol – and possibly his entire career – ended because of a misconstrued clip from his preteen years.
Regardless of what’s actually reality, Clark believes producers had no choice but to send Caleb packing shortly after America’s elimination of Hunter Metts and Arthur Gunn. When the Snapchat went viral, hateful messages against Caleb flooded the internet. Though there were just as many comments sending him love and support, it’s the former that Clark said had to be taken into consideration. “If you make money on how many people watch the show, public opinion and perception is everything,” he said. “From a PR standpoint, from a business standpoint, for the health and life of the show, they really had no choice.”
Following the controversy, Caleb announced he’ll be taking a break from social media to “better” himself. While many American Idol viewers find his Snapchat unforgivable, it seems Caleb is owning up to his actions, even if he and his friend were just geeking out over The Strangers. It’s inarguable that he has talent, so hopefully, he can right this wrong and reestablish a positive image in the country music world.
Next: American Idol: Why Wyatt Pike Left The Show & What He’s Up To Now
Source: Clark Beckham YouTube
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