In a Facebook post on Monday, Nick Cannon announced he would be leaving America’s Got Talent after a joke he made about NBC caused the network to consider firing him.
According to TMZ, in his new stand up special, Cannon says his TV job is causing him to “lose his black card.” Last week, while Cannon was promoting his special on the Howard Stern Show, Stern asked about the bit. “Were you worried when you made this material up and you created that maybe the AGT white money would dry up, that the white people would be afraid of you?” Stern asked.
Cannon responded, laughing, “First of all think about it: If they fire me from AGT ‘cause of things I said, then I can sue them then I can create a whole controversy. ‘NBC hates black people.’”
TMZ reports that sources close to NBC suggested Cannon violated his contract by “disparaging the network.” He is supposedly barred from talking about the network without prior approval. NBC ultimately decided that the joke and interview were just passing comments and let it go, but there’s definitely one person who is not letting it go: Nick Cannon.
In a very long post on his Facebook page, Cannon explains why he has decided to leave America’s Got Talent after the rumors of him being fired circulated. He writes:
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. In my defense, I would ask how so? Or 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 to loud about it. I had no idea that it all would hit so close to home. 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 continues with a shout out to his fans and the many contestants he’s seen come through AGT. He explains what a tremendous experience it was, and his disappointment to have “the rug to be pulled from underneath me” and adds that “to be publicly reprimanded and ridiculed over a joke about my own race is completely wrong.” Cannon also quotes himself from a previous interview, saying, “You can’t fire a Boss!”
Cannon ends with some thoughts on representation amongst artists versus executives, writing, “Most of us don’t realize that there are 6 major corporations that control 90 percent of media in America and the amount of minority executives is dismal. With this being the case, true equality in our industry is impossible. 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.”