‘America’s Got Talent’ Mainstay Quits the Show, Rips NBC

Feb 14, 2017  •  Post A Comment

One of the regulars on NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” had harsh words for the network after a racially tinged controversy flared up. Nick Cannon, who has hosted the reality competition for eight seasons, said he’s quitting the show after learning that NBC execs considered firing him over some of his comedy material.

Cannon discussed the situation in a Facebook essay in which he wrote: “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 a part of an industry who ultimately treats artists in this manner. 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.”

The controversy is centered on racially charged material in Cannon’s Showtime comedy special “Stand Up, Don’t Shoot,” which premiered Friday.

“While Nick was recording the special more than a month ago, he joked with the audience that NBC was making him lose his ‘black card’ — strongly insinuating the network wanted him to show less swagger on ‘AGT,'” TMZ.com reports. “Sources familiar with the situation tell us NBC execs got wind of it when Nick was promoting the special on ‘The Howard Stern Show’ … and thought he was disparaging the network — a violation of his contract. We’re told his deal has a clause that bars him from talking about the network without approval.”

NBC executives reportedly considered firing Cannon from “AGT,” but eventually decided to they could live with his comedy material.

“We’re told they like him and didn’t want to blow the relationship. He’ll be shooting ‘AGT’ next month,” TMZ reported on Friday. But things changed after Cannon became offended about the level of scrutiny he was under from the execs.

Cannon wrote in his Facebook post, published Monday: “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. 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. My moral principles will easily walk away from the millions of dollars they hang over my head.”

Here’s a teaser for the Showtime special at the center of the controversy …


  1. All of us that earn a paycheck that someone else signs is obligated to do the work they way our employer wants the work done. If you have a side gig and are working for yourself – go for whatever you want. But when your employer tells you what they expect and you are not willing to do what you are hired to do – take a walk! What is it with actors and entertainers of every type ( including athletes) that makes them equate fame with knowledge? What makes them feel their opinion is superior to anyone else? I guess the old story about entertainers believing their own PR must be true!

  2. Wait..What??? NBC is racist??? Look, I’ve got no problem with Nick Cannon or any comedian pushing the envelope for comedy. We are FAR too sensitive about Waaay too much stuff. But he DID violate his contract. The language was clear. People can always criticize a comedian’s material. Was it really funny?
    Good example is some of the stuff SNL does. Funny: Melissa McCarthy as Sean Spicer. Not funny and downright creepy and weird: Hillary singing her dirge after she lost, or the Kellyanne Conway parody last Saturday. Comedians need freedom to do their thing. The public can decide if they think it’s funny or not.

  3. Maybe Jerry Springer will be available to host America’s Got Talent again this season.

  4. I work at a TV station. Every year I have to sign about 10 pages of paperwork promising to behave in an ethical manner and not break any laws. It is understood that, as a representative of the TV station, I must not say disparaging things about my employer. Also, if you are hired as talent for a show, they are looking for a certain feel & look. They may ask you to behave in a way consistent with the vibe they are trying to create for the show. Nothing racist about that.

  5. This story, as reported here and in other places, so far just sounds like Mr. Cannon either trying to generate publicity for himself or basing his actions on rumors (or both).

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