America’s got talent, but it might have a lot less Nick Cannon this year. The AGT host took to social media today to explain his decision to leave the show. Cannon revealed that NBC felt jokes he made in his new Showtime comedy special Stand Up, Don’t Shoot violated his relationship with the network. Cannon, who has hosted seasons four through eleven of the hit competition show, disagrees. “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,” Cannon wrote on Facebook. “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.”
Several outlets trace the controversy to stand-up bits NBC might potentially see as critical of their brand, including Cannon’s claim that the network “took my real n—-r card” or his joke that, during his show, NBC stands for “N—-r Better Come on.” If NBC intends to monitor his comedy, Cannon now muses, AGT might not be the right place for his multi-hyphenate talents. “Maybe it was my mistake for signing the contract in the first place, in which I will take full responsibility and have already taken action to restructure my own team of advisors,” Cannon explains. “I now have to set out on a journey of freedom as an artist. As I was quoted in a recent interview, ‘You can’t fire a Boss’ and that is the essence that I possess. So I wish AGT and NBC the best in its upcoming season but I can not see myself returning.” The final crushing blow will come when Nick Cannon enters America’s Got Talent next year and blows those clogging groups and singing ventriloquists right out of the water.