Billboard Music Awards
Nick Cannon Wears Whiteface to Plug 'White People Party Music' Album
Nick Cannon sparked an online debate by posting photos and video clips to his Instagram account that introduced his white alter ego, Connor Smallnut, featuring the "America's Got Talent" host wearing whiteface and red hair, and dressed in a beanie hat and a plaid shirt.
The social media move was to promote the April 1 release of Cannon's upcoming album "White People Party Music," which features Cannon singing and rapping over electronic dance music. The album -- set to be released via hia imprint Ncredible Entertainment in partnership with RED Distribution, a division of Sony Music Entertainment -- lists collaborations with Akon, Pitbull, Future, Migos, Ryan Bowers, Colette Carr and more.
The first photo was uploaded on Monday with a caption gilled with hashtags: "It's official... I'm White!!! #WHITEPEOPLEPARTYMUSIC #Wppm in stores April 1st!!!!!!Dude Go Get It!!!Join The Party!!!! #GoodCredit #DogKissing #BeerPong #FarmersMarkets #FistPumping #CreamCheeseEating #RacialDraft 'Bro I got drafted!!'"
Cannon then followed with video clips introducing his alter ego while riding in a car and standing outside of Staples Center with a black man. Each of the posts have triggered debates in the comments section, as well as on Twitter, with Cannon defending his move which tweets like, "I love this conversation though. It’s showing a lot of people’s true colors… #punintended #wppm woooo!!!" and "Hold up… What the f#ck is “White Face”??? Did I just create a new term??? Nice!!! LOL"
The posts were broken up by a clip of Cannon performing his track "Pajama Pants" (as himself) in Miami, as well as a photo of Robert Downey Jr. wearing blackface in Ben Stiller's 2008 comedy, Tropic Thunder, complete with the caption: "Shout out to @RobertDowneyJr This is one of my favorite characters of all time! Hilarious!!! There is a big difference between Humor and Hatred." He followed with a final photo of his alter ego, adding: "'Duuuude everybody Chil-lax!!!!' ~ Connor Smallnut"
A longer version of this story first appeared on THR.com.