Nick Cannon to Leave 'America's Got Talent' Amid Drama
Nick Cannon will reportedly leave America's Got Talent after eight seasons as host.
The 36-year-old actor and television personality announced in a Facebook post Monday that he won't return to the NBC reality competition after the network reportedly took issue with a joke he made during a stand-up comedy special.
"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 heavily on my spirit," Cannon wrote.
The 60-second teaser premiered during Sunday night's Grammy Awards.
"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," he elaborated. "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."
"To be publicly reprimanded and ridiculed over a joke about my own race is completely wrong and I have to do something about it," the star said. "I wish AGT and NBC the best in its upcoming season but I can not see myself returning."
TMZ reported Friday that Cannon was filming a stand-up comedy special more than a month ago when he joked that NBC was making him lose his "black card"—suggesting the network wanted him to tone down his persona on AGT.
Sources said the joke violated Cannon's contract with NBC, which reportedly prohibits the star from discussing the network without permission. Executives reportedly discussed firing Cannon before deciding to keep him on.
Cannon made his debut as host in Season 4 of America's Got Talent, which was renewed for a 12th season in August. The actor made headlines last week for saying ex-wife Mariah Carey's relationship with Bryan Tanaka and E! reality series seem "fake."
By Annie Martin
Originally published in UPI Entertainment News.