Contestant Caleb Kennedy is out at "American Idol" after a video surfaced showing the show hopeful standing next to someone that appears to be wearing a Ku Klux Klan hood.
"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," Kennedy wrote in a statement.
The teen continued: "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!"
Kennedy concluded by saying he will "pray that one day he will regain the public's trust and thanked viewers for their support.
Representatives for "American Idol" did not immediately return Fox News' request for comment on Thursday but confirmed his departure to the New York Post.
Kennedy's sudden exit leaves four finalists left: Grace Kinstler, Chayce Beckham, Casey Bishop, and Willie Spence.
Kennedy's mother has also spoken out about his departure.
"I hate that this has happened and how Caleb is being portrayed by people online," Anita Guy told MSN. "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."
Kennedy's leaving is not the first sudden departure from a contestant to take place this season. Former frontrunner Wyatt Pike departed the popular singing competition show last month. On Instagram, the 20-year-old singer said he left the show due to "personal reasons," but didn't offer any further explanation.