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Caleb Kennedy was about as close as you can get to taking it all on the latest season of American Idol, but says he’s decided step away from the show after video of him wearing a white hood surfaced online.

The 16-year-old contestant said the video was made when he was younger and that it wasn’t intended to be an endorsement of white supremacy.


“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 wrote in a statement Wednesday (May 12).

As video made its rounds on Twitter, one post alleged Kennedy blocked users who referenced him with the clip.

Kennedy’s mother, Anita Guy, told MSN that the hood her son wore was inspired by a film.

“I hate that this has happened and how Caleb is being portrayed by people online,” Guy said. “This video was taken after Caleb had watched the movie ‘The Strangers: Prey at Night’ and they were imitating those characters. 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.”

ABC confirmed that Kennedy would no longer be part of the competition. The network said that this Sunday’s episode will only feature the top four finalists.

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‘American Idol’ Finalist Leaves Show After KKK-Themed Video Lands Online  was originally published on