Caleb Kennedy Luke Bryan

Last week, we reported that 16-year-old Caleb Kennedy left “American Idol” after a video surfaced of him sitting with someone who was wearing a white hood that resembled Ku Klux Klan garb. Now, two “American Idol” judges, Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie, have broken their silence about the controversy and Caleb Kennedy.

Controversial Video

In case you missed it, you can check out the controversial video below. 

Full Story: ‘American Idol’ Finalist Caleb Kennedy Exits Show Amid Video Controversy

Bryan And Richie Speak Out

“First and foremost, as judges, we love these kids,” country music star Luke Bryan, 44, told People Magazine.

“We get emotionally involved in these kids. We want the best for Caleb. As far as the nuances on how ABC gets viewed, either way, decisions got made and it’s our job as judges to show up and do our best job and comment on the kids who are in front of us. But we wish nothing but the best for Caleb. It does make for a very, very challenging and upsetting week.”

Judge Lionel Richie, 71, addressed the situation as well. 

“A lot of times, we think about it, we grow up and we make mistakes and we look at our life behind us many times and we say, ‘God, what was I thinking about when I did that?'” he said. “This was one of those situations where we kind of give him a big hug from the three of us.”

“He has definitely has a talent,” Richie continued. “The problem is, this is one of those unfortunate decisions that had to be made and we move on. But this will be remembered in his lifetime and he’ll know what it’s all about.” 

Related: Billy Crystal Rips Cancel Culture: Comedy Is ‘Becoming A Minefield’

Kennedy Releases Statement 

Kennedy released a statement last Wednesday in which he said that in the video, he “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,” he said. “I wanna say sorry to all my fans and everyone who I let down.”

Kennedy went on to say that he will “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.”

“I’m so sorry!” Kennedy added. “I pray that I can one day regain your trust in who I am and have your respect! Thank you for supporting me.”

It’s sad that a simple video that was made when he was 12 and was seemingly not intended to be racist has snatched away the opportunity of a lifetime from this teenager.

It’s situations like this one that should show everyone that cancel culture has gone way too far.