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'American Idol' finalist leaves show amid video controversy

A video showed the 'American Idol' contestant next to someone wearing what looks like a Ku Klux Klan hood. His mom says it was taken out of context.

A 16-year-old “American Idol” contestant has dropped out of the singing competition after a video circulated of him sitting next to someone wearing what appears to be a Ku Klux Klan hood.

Caleb Kennedy, advanced into the Top 5, apologized for the video on Twitter and Instagram on Wednesday, saying “it displayed actions that were not meant to be taken in that way.”

Kennedy's mother, Anita Guy, told the Herald-Journal that the video was filmed when Kennedy was 12 and had been taken out of context. She said Kennedy had been imitating characters from the film “The Strangers: Prey at Night.”

"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,” Guy said.

In his post, Kennedy said: “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.”

Credit: AP
This image released by ABC shows Caleb Kennedy performing on the singing competition series "American Idol," in Los Angeles that aired May 9.