Nick Cannon has quit as host of America’s Got Talent for allegedly being reprimanded by NBC executives after making negative remarks about the network in his stand-up routine.
On Friday (10Feb17), it was reported the 36-year-old was nearly fired from the show after eight seasons for saying network executives wanted him to lose his “black card” and display less “swagger” in his stand-up special, which airs in the U.S. on Friday (17Feb17).
The comments are reportedly a violation of his contract, which stops him from talking about the network without their approval. According to TMZ, NBC bosses had serious discussions about firing him but chose to let the comments slide.
However, on Monday (13Feb17), mere weeks before the show begins filming, Nick announced he will be leaving the show because he cannot stand the way he is being censored by corporations.
“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,” he wrote in a lengthy Facebook post.
“I have loved hosting AMERICAS GOT TALENT for the last 8 seasons… 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.”
In his post, he revealed this isn’t the first time he has been warned for being “unruly” and his mentors had predicted “the system” would soon come down on him for being too honest and loud.
“I will not stand for it. My moral principles will easily walk away from the millions of dollars they hang over my head,” he continued. “It’s never been about the money for me, what is difficult to walk away from is the fans, the people who love me on the show. This hurts tremendously.”
Mariah Carey’s ex-husband admitted signing a contract with such a clause was a mistake and he is already reworking his team of advisers. He wrote it was wrong to be “publicly reprimanded and ridiculed over a joke” and he felt compelled to speak up against “an unjust infrastructure that treat talent like they own them.”
He concluded, “So I wish AGT and NBC the best in its upcoming season but I can not see myself returning. As of lately I have even questioned if I want to even be apart of an industry who ultimately treats artists in this manner.”