In a lengthy Facebook post, Nick Cannon announced on Monday that he’s leaving America’s Got Talent after hosting for seven seasons.
Cannon says that he quit after being threatened to be fired by NBC officials. Inside sources say that network brass was not happy with comments the AGT host made during one of his comedy routines.
He went on to say that he felt the network was attempting to censor him and he would not stand of it. Cannon alleges that once the network made threats to fire him, he decided to circumvent the network’s possible decision and walk away from the program.
However, coming from the other side of the coin, network officials believe that Cannon’s conduct during his Showtime standup comedy special, “Stand Up, Don’t Shoot,” may have been a violation of his contractual agreement, giving cause for termination. Nick’s routine (which quite frankly I personally have not seen) slams NBC, according to multiple sources. Something networks don’t take kindly to.
The 36-year-old comic and TV host wrote on his social media pages, “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.”
He went on to write, “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.”
[sidebar] The truth is that all contracts between major corporations and their talent have a clause that stipulates that anything that puts the employer in a “bad light” or is detrimental to the company’s image is cause for immediate termination. All of the contracted talent in TV, radio, and film have the same agreement, as a safeguard to ensure that the employer can rest easy in knowing that their employees will think twice before doing anything negative or controversial.
Some of the comedy bits deal with racial issues, and NBC did not appreciate their tone.
Cannon ended his social media post with, “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. I have loved hosting AMERICAS GOT TALENT for the last 8 seasons, watching talented, brave, and courageous Americans accomplish their dreams in front of millions has been nothing but a joy, and everyone has been a pleasure to work with but my soul won’t allow me to be in business with corporations that attempt to frown on freedom of speech, censor artists, and question cultural choices.”
But, if you pause and give it some thought, Cannon has NEVER gotten this kind of publicity in his career. Which begs the question, was this planned all along? Or will his career go the route of Aflac’s Gilbert Gottfried, or Seinfeld’s Michael Richards?