Amid Joke Uproar, Nick Cannon Leaving America's Got Talent
He joked about NBC, the show during stand-up special
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 13, 2017 3:31 PM CST
In this March 3, 2016 file photo, Nick Cannon arrives at the "America's Got Talent" Season 11 Red Carpet Kickoff at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium in Pasadena, Calif.   (Photo by Rich Fury/Invision/AP, File)

(Newser) – Nick Cannon has hosted NBC's America's Got Talent for eight seasons, but after his recent Showtime comedy special, he won't be back for a ninth. On Stand Up, Don't Shoot, which premiered Friday, Cannon joked about NBC and the reality competition show, and network executives threatened to fire him, Cannon said in a Facebook post Monday. TMZ reports that the network ultimately decided not to terminate him—but Cannon decided not to return for the show's upcoming twelfth season. "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 wrote. "Is this just another way to silence and control an outspoken voice who often battles the establishment. Recently many of my mentors have cautioned me that soon 'The System' would come down on me because I was speaking too many truths and being (too) loud about it."

In the special, Cannon said that when he started hosting America's Got Talent, "they took my real [n-word] card," because older white people started attending his stand-up shows. "I can't do that real [n-word] stuff no more, because then they'll put me on TMZ," he said. He also joked about the difference in language between what he was using in the special vs. what he would use on NBC: "That's what NBC is gonna stand for tonight: '[N-words] better come on, cuz [n-words] be cussin', so [n-words] be careful. ... I mean sometimes I wish I could say the stuff that I want to say. … But I can't say that. I can't talk like that 'cuz that would mess up the white money. It will." In his Facebook post announcing his exit from the show, Cannon noted, "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. I will not stand for it."

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