American Idol finalist Caleb Kennedy has left the show after a video clip surfaced of him seated next to a friend dressed in a hood similar to those of the Ku Klux Klan. He released a statement on Instagram as an explanation to fans. The caption read, “An update from me, about American Idol.”

Kennedy posted a note that said, “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. I wanna say sorry to all my fans and everyone who I have let down. 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. 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.”

Kennedy’s family has said that they believe the video was taken out of context. His mother told the Spartanburg Herald-Journal, “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.”

She also said, “I hate this has happened and how Caleb is being portrayed by people online.”

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