‘American Idol’ contestant Caleb Kennedy, 16, leaves show after video shows him next to friend in KKK hood

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Host Ryan Seacrest speaks in the audience during Fox's "American Idol" Finale For The Farewell Season at Dolby Theatre on April 7, 2016, in Hollywood, California. - Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images North America/TNS

“American Idol” finalist Caleb Kennedy is leaving the show after video surfaced that showed him sitting next to a friend who was wearing a white Ku Klux Klan-style hood.

The 16-year-old country singer and Roebuck, South Carolina, native was one of the final five contestants on the ABC show.

“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 said in a statement. “I wanna say sorry to all my fans and everyone who I have let down.”

The three-second Snapchat clip simply shows Kennedy sitting next to a friend, who is wearing a white hood and white T-shirt.

Kennedy’s mother, Anita Guy, told the Spartanburg Herald-Journal that Kennedy was 12 years old when the video was recorded.

Guy claimed the boys had recently watched the 2018 film “The Strangers: Prey at Night” and the hood was being used to portray a character in the film.

She suggested to The Columbia State that someone at Kennedy’s high school was jealous of his success and began circulating the video.

“I’ll be taking a little time off social media to better myself,” Kennedy said his statement, “but saying that, I know this has hurt and disappointed a lot of people and made people lose respect for me.”

“American Idol” will continue with its final four contestants, with one set to be eliminated Sunday.

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