Nick Cannon is verbally addressing the controversy between him and Azealia Banks, who appeared as a guest on his improv comedy show, Wild ‘N Out.
Banks accused Cannon and the comedians of colorist jokes at her expense during the taping of her episode, where she left in tears. “They planned this — hit me on short notice, told me I didn’t have to participate in the coon a** freestyle battles (not my style) and I was to sing my song and go home,” she said.
However, the actor and comedian was singing a different tune. During an appearance on Complex‘s Everyday Struggle Thursday (Aug. 30), Cannon said that while the comments about Bank’s skin tone were indeed said on the show, she may have overreacted, and he did his best to calm her down.
“It’s funny, because [Banks] actually broke down, and I was like ‘yo, anything you don’t want to air, just let me know, and we won’t do it,” he explained to the hosts. “She went on that rant the next day, I was like ‘aight, I gotta let the world see what really happened to show that she was overreacting.”
He believes that Banks’ rant about the incident, which she detailed on social media, comes from “self-hate” and “self-hurt.”
“She probably has had those problems and insecurities of being a darker [complexioned] woman,” he continued. “In her community, she’s probably not looked at as ‘beautiful.'”
He also detailed that he helped to calm her down on set when she noted that she felt attacked. However, he explained that comedy is “fair game” and no one is safe from jokes.
“She was a deer in headlights, and I watched everything…’the light skinned girls in the audience are making fun of me!’ I had to sit her down, give her some water,” he recollected. “We had a conversation, she calmed down, and I was like, ‘if you really wanna display what a strong black woman is, you’re gonna go right back out there…let them know…’I’m here to play and have a good time.'”
“If you jump in the fire, you’re gonna get burned,” he said. “Say what you wanna say about me, I’m secure…Mariah, Lupus, wack records!”
Check out his thoughts on the situation around the 7:15 mark.
READ MORE: Nick Cannon Thanks Azealia Banks For “Great Ratings” After ‘Wild N’ Out’ Episode Debuts