(CelebrityAccess) — Caleb Kennedy, a young contestant who had reached the Top 5 on the current season of “American Idol” dropped out after a video surfaced that appears to show him wearing a hood similar to those worn by the Ku Klux Klan.
Kennedy, who is 16, confirmed his exit from the show in an social media post.
“Hey y’all, this is gonna be a bit of a surprise, but I am no longer gonna be on American Idol. There was a video that surfaced on the internet and 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,” Kennedy’s statement said.
Kennedy went on to apologize to his fans and suggested that he planned to step back from having an active role on social media.
“I’ll 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,” Kennedy said, adding, “I’m so sorry!”
“I pray that I can one day regain your trust in who I am and have your respect! Thank you for supporting me,” his statement concluded.
The short video, which has been posted multiple times on social media, appears to show Kennedy in a white, Klan-like hood sitting next to another young person.
Speaking to the Spartanburg Herald-Journal, Kennedy’s mother, Anita Guy, said that the clip and moment it portrays were being taken out of context.
She told the newspaper that the video was taken after the two boys watched “The Strangers: Prey at Night” and “V for Vendetta” and he was dressed as the lead character in the second film.
“This video was taken after Caleb had watched the movie ‘The Strangers: Prey at Night’ and they were imitating those characters,” Guy told the Herald-Journal. “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.”
Due to Kennedy’s age at the time this video was taken, CelebrityAccess has opted not to link to the video.