Nick Cannon Is Leaving ‘America’s Got Talent’ Over A Racial Joke
“America’s Got Talent” host Nick Cannon announced Monday that he will not be returning to NBC for season 12 of the show after network executives allegedly threatened to fire him over a racial joke.
Cannon’s new comedy special, “Stand Up, Don’t Shoot” premiered on Showtime Friday and in it, Cannon delivered a racial joke that NBC wasn’t pleased with.
“I honestly believe once I started doing ‘America’s Got Talent,’ they took my real n***er card,” Cannon’s joke began. “They did! Because then like these type of people started showing up to my shows,” Cannon said in the special pointing to three older white people in the audience. “I can’t do the real n***er stuff no more, because then they’ll put me on TMZ.”
The “America’s Got Talent” host joined Howard Stern’s radio show on Friday where he aired out the dispute with NBC and claimed he could sue them if the network fired him over the joke, according to The Hollywood Reporter. On Monday he went into more detail in a lengthy Facebook post.
“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,” Cannon began in the post. “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.”
Cannon didn’t believe that his joke did so and claimed that this is “just another way to silence and control an outspoken voice who often battles the establishment.”
“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,” Cannon wrote.
“Not to get too detailed but this isn’t the first time executives have attempted to ‘put me in my place’ for so called unruly actions,” he continued. “I will not stand for it. My moral principles will easily walk away from the millions of dollars they hang over my head. It’ never been about the money for me, what is difficult to walk away from is the fans, the people who love me on the show. This hurts tremendously.”
Production for “America’s Got Talent” season 12 was supposed to begin this week. It would have been Cannon’s eighth season hosting the show.