Nick Cannon Just Quit America's Got Talent After Joke Controversy

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For eight seasons, Nick Cannon has been the boisterous personality at the head of America's Got Talent, the wildly popular summertime talent show airing on NBC. Recently, we learned that the Peacock Network had considered a joke Cannon had made at NBC's expense during a Showtime comedy special to be a "breach of contract." Although cooler heads reportedly prevailed and Cannon was able to keep his job and keep the joke in the special, apparently he was offended by NBC being offended. After spending a few days "deliberating," the longtime host of America's Got Talent has ultimately decided to quit the series.

If you are wondering how Nick Cannon came to the decision, he described his position in a lengthy Facebook post on Monday, noting that he felt NBC's response--or at least reported response--put his "dignity" on the line. Here's what he had to say.

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. Recently many of my mentors have cautioned me that soon "The System" would come down on me because I was speaking too many truths and being to loud about it. I had no idea that it all would hit so close to home. 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.

What we're presuming this really comes down to is a matter of personality. As a comedian, your livelihood is often based around free speech and being able to make jokes that define your personality on the stage. However, as a contracted NBC employee, there is an contractual obligation that you cannot complain about your job or position. There was a fine line with the joke that Nick Cannon made for his Showtime special, which implied that NBC was making the comedian "lose his black card." I'm not really surprised there were conversations behind closed doors at NBC about whether or not to cut Nick Cannon for the joke. At the same time, it wasn't as if Cannon was talking to a gossip rag in an airport about how terrible the show he works on is. He even mentions that probably he should have looked at the terms of his contract a little closer, as he can't even imagine being fired for a joke.

Despite the end of his gig, it seems pretty clear that Nick Cannon enjoyed entertaining on AGT. In the post, Cannon also thanked fans of America's Got Talent for their support of the show and his job over the years, noting that it will be leaving the fans that will be the hardest.

As for America's Got Talent itself, the show should be fine. Judges have changed often on the show over the years, and despite those changes, the show has still been solid in the ratings. Plenty of people do like Nick Cannon's goofy antics on stage, but it's not like he is irreplaceable. We'll have to wait and see what NBC ends up doing to replace Cannon, as filming is expected to start on America's Got Talent next month. My vote here is Mario Lopez, but no one is consulting me. We'll let you know as soon as NBC makes a decision.

For now, you can see what is heading to TV over the next couple of months with our midseason TV premiere schedule.

Jessica Rawden
Managing Editor

Jessica Rawden is Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. She’s been kicking out news stories since 2007 and joined the full-time staff in 2014. She oversees news content, hiring and training for the site, and her areas of expertise include theme parks, rom-coms, Hallmark (particularly Christmas movie season), reality TV, celebrity interviews and primetime. She loves a good animated movie. Jessica has a Masters in Library Science degree from Indiana University, and used to be found behind a reference desk most definitely not shushing people. She now uses those skills in researching and tracking down information in very different ways.