Entertainment

Nick Cannon Leaving NBC After ‘N-Word,’ ‘White Money’ Comments

Actor says his free speech has been stifled

Entertainer Nick Cannon has revealed that he has lost his longtime gig as host of the hit show, “America’s Got Talent,” due to some racially charged jokes he made during a comedy special for Showtime.

“I honestly believe, once I started doing ‘America’s Got Talent,’ they took my real n***** card. They did! Because then, like these type of people started showing up to my shows,” said Cannon during his special, “Stand Up, Don’t Shoot,” as he pointed to three older white people in his audience. “I can’t do the real n***** stuff no more, because then they’ll put me on TMZ.”

In an interview with Howard Stern, Cannon was asked about possible blowback to his vulgar-laced comments on “white money.”

He also said, “That’s what NBC is gonna stand for tonight: ‘N****** better come on, cuz n****** be cussin’, so n****** be careful.”

He added, “‘Cuz y’all see me on the show. I mean, sometimes I wish I could say the stuff that I want to say … But I can’t say that. I can’t talk like that ‘cuz that would mess up the white money. It will.”

In a recent interview with Howard Stern, Cannon was asked about possible blowback to his vulgar comments on “white money.” He responded, “If they fire me from ‘AGT’ for the things I’ve said, I can sue them and create a whole new controversy — ‘NBC hates black people!'” He added that he hoped his hosting gig would last “forever.”

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“Forever” was not in the cards for Cannon as he revealed on Monday through Facebook that his time with the show was over. “I was to be punished for a joke. This has weighed heavy on my spirit. 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,” wrote Cannon.

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He added, “There is no amount of money worth my dignity or my integrity.”

That’s certainly a change from a comedian saying he was purposefully changing his authenticity due to the appeal of “white money.”

Cannon also said, “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.”

Cannon said losing the gig “hurt tremendously.” He also managed to wish NBC the best, while also cursing the network in the same breath.

“I wish ‘AGT’ and NBC the best in its upcoming season but I can not [sic] see myself returning,” he wrote. “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. There will always be a ‘do as I say’ mentality that mirrors society’s perception of women and minorities, and only a few will stand up against it. I proudly stand as one of those few, and will gladly take on whatever repercussions that come with it.” It seems clear that Cannon’s decision to leave the show has been his alone — NBC has issued no statement so far related to Cannon or “America’s Got Talent.”

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Cannon certainly has the right to tell jokes on his own free time about whatever he wants and in whatever fashion he wants — whether those jokes are funny or not. However, he’s a representative and face of a family friendly television show. Did he believe NBC wouldn’t be disturbed by his comments? Does he really believe he’s a victim to the “stifling of free speech” or a poster child for rebellious comedians everywhere taking on giant corporations? Just chalk this one up to one more celebrity boosting his own cultural importance and million-dollar problems in his own mind — while everyday Americans worry about paying their health care insurance, their daily bills, and so much more.

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