Nick Cannon says he is quitting his job as host of NBC’s “America’s Got Talent,” alleging the network planned to punish him over a race-based joke he made in his new comedy special.
The TV personality issued a lengthy statement on Facebook Monday, Feb. 13, saying the decision to leave was a difficult one, but he would “not be silenced, controlled or treated like “a piece of property.”
“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 wrote. “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 wish ‘AGT’ and NBC the best in its upcoming season, but I cannot see myself returning,” he said. “There will always be a ‘Do as I say’ mentality that mirrors society’s perception of women and minorities, and only a few will stand up against it. I proudly stand as one of those few and will gladly take on whatever repercussions that come with it.”
I write this from a deeply saddened and dolorous mindset. After days of deliberating over some extremely disappointing…
Cannon added that he was warned by mentors that his outspokenness about political issues would come back to haunt him. At the center of the comedian’s decision to leave the talent competition after eight seasons is a joke in his “Stand Up, Don’t Shoot” Showtime special saying NBC revoked his Black card.
“I honestly believe, once I started doing ‘America’s Got Talent,’ they took my real n——card,” he said in the show that premiered Friday, Feb. 10. “They did! Because then, like, these type of people started showing up to my shows,” Cannon said referring to white people. “Can’t do the real n—– stuff no more because then they’ll put me on TMZ.
“Matter of fact, that’s what NBC gonna stand for tonight,” he went on of what could be expected of his routine. “N—– Better Come on, ’cause n—– be cussing. So, n—- be careful.”
Online, many fans shared their support for the “Wild ‘n’ Out” host.