In a statement that he posted on his Facebook page, entertainer Nick Cannon announced that he was quitting his hosting gig on NBC’s “America’s Got Talent”.
After days of deliberating over some extremely disappointing news that I was being threatened with termination by Executives because of a comedy special that was only intended to bring communities closer together, I was to be punished for a joke. This has weighed heavy on my spirit. It was brought to my attention by my “team” that NBC believed that I was in breach of contract because I had disparaged their brand.
I find myself in a dark place having to make a decision that I wish I didn’t have to, but as a man, an artist, and a voice for my community I will not be silenced, controlled or treated like a piece of property. There is no amount of money worth my dignity or my integrity.
I have loved hosting AMERICAS GOT TALENT for the last 8 seasons, watching talented, brave, and courageous Americans accomplish their dreams in front of millions has been nothing but a joy, and everyone has been a pleasure to work with but my soul won’t allow me to be in business with corporations that attempt to frown on freedom of speech, censor artists, and question cultural choices.
So I wish AGT and NBC the best in its upcoming season but I can not see myself returning.
Cannon made the decision to exit the franchise amid controversy over a racially charged joke he told in his recent Showtime stand-up special “Stand Up, Don’t Shoot.”
“I honestly believe, once I started doing ‘America’s Got Talent,’ they took my real n****r card. They did! Because then, like, these type of people started showing up to my shows,” Cannon said in the special, according to The Hollywood Reporter. “I can’t do the real n*****r stuff no more, because then they’ll put me on TMZ.”
He also added that NBC stood for “N****r Better Come on” and that the network didn’t allow him to speak freely at risk of losing “white money.”
But network insiders denied to the New York Post that NBC threatened to fire Cannon, and added that since he has a contract, he would likely run into legal problems if he tried to follow through with his Facebook threat.
Sources also said that network bigs have been trying to contact Cannon, to no avail.
NBC declined to comment.