Nick Cannon has been the host of the NBC reality show America’s Got Talent since 2009, but it looks as though his tenure has come to a close as of Monday morning. In a lengthy message posted on his Facebook, Cannon says he will not be returning to the show after executives at the network threatened to fire him over a racial joke. The joke in question was made during Cannon’s recent stand-up special on Showtime, Stand Up, Don’t Shoot.
It was brought to my attention by my team,” Cannon writes in his post, “that NBC believed that I was in breach of my contract because I had disparaged their brand. In my defense, I ask, how so? Or is it just another way to silence and control an outspoken voice who often battles the establishment?”
Cannon goes on to say that he loved his time on America’s Got Talent, but that his soul wouldn’t permit him to be “in business with corporations that attempt to frown on freedom of speech, censor artists, and question cultural choices.”
Rumors of the falling out surfaced last week, as reports from both TMZ and The Inquisitr described Cannon as “annoyed” with NBC executives and claiming that they were making him “lose his ‘black card.” The Wild ‘N Out star also appeared on The Howard Stern Show, where Stern asked him if his stand-up material would bother the network. Cannon responded “If they fire me… then I can sue them and I can create a whole controversy.”
America’s Got Talent was renewed for its 12th season this summer with returning judges Simon Cowell, Howie Mandel, Mel B and Heidi Klum. No word yet on who will replace Cannon as host.