Nick Cannon America's Got Talent

Nick Cannon Quits America's Got Talent Over Censorship Dispute With NBC

When America’s Got Talent returns for its 12th season this summer, it’ll do so without longtime host Nick Cannon.

In a lengthy Facebook post on Monday, a “deeply saddened” Cannon explained that he’s decided to part ways with NBC — and possibly the entertainment industry as a whole — after he allegedly received backlash from the network over a joke he made during a recent stand-up special on Showtime.

“Sometimes I wish I could say the stuff I really want to say,” Cannon said during his special. “Y’all see my face on America’s Got Talent? Like, this next crazy motherf–er coming to the stage gonna be juggling blindfolded with knives and s–t, so n–as be careful! But I can’t say that. I can’t talk like that. That would mess up the white money.” (You can watch the full, uncensored joke here.)

When Cannon received word that NBC was allegedly considering firing him as a result of his rant, he decided to pull his own plug.

“There is no amount of money worth my dignity or my integrity,” Cannon writes on Facebook. “I have loved hosting America’s Got Talent for the last eight seasons. Watching talented, brave and courageous Americans accomplish their dreams in front of millions has been nothing but a joy, and everyone has been a pleasure to work with — but 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.”

He finishes, “I wish AGT and NBC the best in its upcoming season, but I can not see myself returning,” he adds. “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 six 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.”

TVLine has reached out to NBC for comment.

America’s Got Talent is expected to return for Season 12 this summer with all of its judges — Simon Cowell, Howie Mandel, Mel B. and Heidi Klum — returning. Will you miss Cannon? Drop a comment with your thoughts on this whole ordeal below.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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81 Comments
  1. Coach Taylor says:

    Ryan Seacrest in 3….2….1

  2. Kevin says:

    I’ll be shocked if Ryan Seacrest becomes the new host of AGT or maybe bring back Jerry Springer or what about Mario Lopez or possibly a female host.

  3. Gina says:

    Serious question: is anybody watching that show for Nick Cannon?

  4. Jason says:

    How do you “attempt to frown” on something. Also, I can’t speak to the issue of “White Money” since I don’t have any, but I think one of the other reasons he can’t swear on America’s Got Talent is that it’s on Network television and geared toward families who, for some strange reason, may not appreciate their children being cursed at.

    • Lauren says:

      He didn’t though. He cussed on a pay-cable stand up special.

      • J.B. says:

        Did you read what he said? He’s mad he can’t swear and say nigga while hosting AGT.

        • Pedro says:

          No. He’s mad because NBC threatened to fire him over a joke on his stand-up act taht has nothing to do with NBC.

          • J.B. says:

            ““Sometimes I wish I could say the stuff I really want to say,” Cannon said during his special. “Y’all see my face on America’s Got Talent? Like, this next crazy motherf–er coming to the stage gonna be juggling blindfolded with knives and s–t, so n–as be careful! But I can’t say that. I can’t talk like that. That would mess up the white money.”

          • Winter says:

            J.B. the quote you just posted was said in his stand-up special. He is quitting because they were mad about the joke not because he can’t do those things on the show.

          • Jenna says:

            While talking smack about NBC. His contract says he can’t. That was reason for termination.

        • Britt/Brat says:

          That was a joke from his special. It’s a comedy act. He knows he’s on a network tv show and really can’t say those things. NBC was thinking about firing him for making the joke. That’s what he was upset about.

        • Lauren says:

          Don’t watch much stand up do you?

          • Cassie says:

            You don’t bite the hand that feeds you. When Cannon added the fact that it would “mess up the money”, it showed his true character.

            Remember the LA Clippers? The racist bigot’s true feelings came to light, the team revolted with as much class as possible for being called slaves by their boss, and he no longer owns that team.

          • Collette says:

            Just the fact that Cannon referred to it as “white” money showcases the fact that people of color are equally responsible for the divisiveness.

    • KT says:

      Love this comment!

  5. Dan the critic says:

    He was the worse part of the show. Bring back Howard Stern to host.

  6. AngelWasHere says:

    What an idiot! What did he expect from a big network like that?

  7. John Jacob says:

    You mean I wont get to see Nick’s turbans or spikey shiny shoes? I’m crushed.

  8. Jason says:

    He’s not wrong. Middle America is “white money” and with that comes a entirely new level of sensitivity of things you can’t say or do becasue if offends suburban America AKA white money

    • J.B. says:

      Has nothing to do with “White Money” (which he had been happy to take for many, many years). This has to do with Network Broadcast laws. ”
      Federal law prohibits obscene, indecent and profane content from being broadcast on the radio or TV.
      Broadcasting obscenecontent is prohibited by law at all times of the day. Indecent and profane content are prohibited on broadcast TV and radio between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m., when there is a reasonable risk that children may be in the audience.”
      I’m sure there are a ton of black people in America who don’t want to hear or have children hear him say the kind of things he wants to say while hosting the show. America is lucky they don’t have some of the same pre watershed laws that British television has. So much of what is produced could never be aired during the timeslots they currently hold.

      • Pedro says:

        Nothing you said has to do with why he quit. He quit because NBC threatened to fire him over his stand-up act.

        • J.B. says:

          “Sometimes I wish I could say the stuff I really want to say,” Cannon said during his special. “Y’all see my face on America’s Got Talent? Like, this next crazy motherf–er coming to the stage gonna be juggling blindfolded with knives and s–t, so n–as be careful! But I can’t say that. I can’t talk like that. That would mess up the white money.”

          • Zayne says:

            This was a joke, written for a stand-up special on a Pay-Cable Network. He was making a joke over the kinds of things he would say were he not on network TV. This joke cause NBC’s panties to twist and consider firing him over it. He heard about this and decided that if a joke on a special that aired on another network would be grounds for them to fire him, he was just going to leave before that happened.

            Sensitive little snowflakes like you are why NBC was even considering firing him in the first place. He doesn’t want to swear at and corrupt your children. IT WAS A JOKE!

          • Jenny says:

            Honey, sweetie, it’s a joke.

          • SG says:

            I think you lack reading comprehension.

        • jj says:

          Jason commented on Nick’s statement about white money. JB commented that it isn’t white money issue it’s a standards of broadcasting issue. Neither one are discussing the reason why he quit. They are both discussing the issue that Nick raised. Consequently, your comment is irrelevant to that discussion.

  9. Sarahii says:

    Power to him.

  10. MiaB says:

    Howard Stern was on this show. I guess whatever he says off the AGT stage is cool. Just make sure you don’t hurt white heterosexual men and their sensitive hearts.

  11. webly3 says:

    I do understand where he’s coming from, but what did he expect from a show on NBC? Of course it’s going to be censored. I understand his frustration with the industry in general, but I don’t think he should take out on broadcast network censorship because the networks can’t control that.

    • Pedro says:

      He’s upset NBC tried to censor his stand-up act.

      • J.B. says:

        NBC has no control over his comedy special. They didn’t produce it or air it. They are upset that he attacked his employer during his routine. And they are particularly upset with what he said. Especially this part:
        First, he began the night by warning his audience that the n-word would be sprinkled about throughout his show and that NBC would stand for “N—-s Better Come On” and “N—s Be Careful” for the entire show. Then, he went on to joke about his life changed once he started doing America’s Got Talent.

        “I grew up like a real n—a, all that stuff, but I honestly believe that once I started doing America’s Got Talent, they took my real n—a card. They did, because then these types of people start showing up to my shows,” he said, gesturing to the older white audience members. “I can’t do the real n—a stuff anymore cause then they’ll put me on TMZ.”

  12. SJ says:

    Don’t let the door hit ya on your way out. Funny how the left always complains about freedom of speech when it suits them, yet go out of their way to censor conservative viewpoints. Also, why is it that every non-white celebrity nowadays sees themselves as some kind of a freedom fighter? I can’t imagine how tiresome life would get if I looked at everything through a “how black/latino/Asian is (insert institution here)” prism.

    • Mary says:

      The difference is he was doing a stand up routine on a cable station which I guarantee that 90% of the AGT audience would never had seen. For me it is a non issue but I guess NBC thinks it should be. Funny how the right are a bunch of hypocrites who throws freedom of speech out to justify their racist remarks. See it works both ways. Truthfully with #45 I think all bets are off because the bs from his mouth definitely should be censor.

  13. Freddie says:

    It’s win-win for both, isn’t it? AGT gets the sort of free advertisement that must be hard to get when you’re so many years into being on air he gets to move on (or at least try to move on) to other projects while invoking artistic integrity no less.
    Heck, I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that NBC and Nick Cannon worked some sort of agreement behind the scenes that spelled out just how this all plays out.

  14. Brigid says:

    NBC is a company who is in the business of making money. If an employee of theirs says something that can hurt their product, they have every right to get rid of them. It’s the same as everyone wanting Paula Dean fired over saying the N word . It’s offensive to a group of people who may in turn boycott the company and therefore they lose money. Why does everyone think that freedom of speech means there aren’t consequences that stem from what you say? You want to say whatever, that’s great, but don’t expect everyone else to stand behind you in agreement.

  15. Daya says:

    Disappointed, yes, but it will be good to get new blood in there.

    Plus, as someone who has quit at least once to avoid being fired, I know the feeling.

  16. Krissu says:

    Please not Mario Lopez

  17. herman1959 says:

    With four judges, do they really need a host? Couldn’t they just make do with an announcer to do the intros? Anyway, I’ve never cared for Nick Cannon, so I won’t miss him.

  18. ScottJ says:

    Sounds like NBC are as bad as Disney. None of their little darlings can do anything naughty anywhere else.

  19. Marie58 says:

    There has to be more to the story. There always is.

  20. Yes,I will miss seeing him. He brings a special something that no other show has. In all actuality,Nick complements the show as he also completed it. Y’all (NBC) I believe are messing up. Nick,your a smart young fellow with a lot of panash. You are a very talented young man,so you do what your heart says and you will never go wrong. And that includes everything in life. The best to you….

  21. David H says:

    Somehow Howard Stern managed to conform to the standards of the show in which he appeared, and did so voluntarily. Cannon, of course, has to turn it into a race issue.

  22. Brock Hard says:

    Hello?!?! It’s Freedom of Speech, not Freedom from Consequences.

  23. Won’t miss his arrogant self at all.

  24. Bruce Wayne says:

    Cannon must remain. Cowbell has to use his power to make it happen.

  25. Nancy says:

    No one can replace Nick Cannon..he is the best

  26. iceblast says:

    boo hoo, they won’t let you be crude on a family show where lots of kids like to watch, what is the world coming too.

    Of course, you have to bring race into it. So, if you’re black, you think it’s appropriate to speak like that in front of children…..

    I think it’s a good thing you are leaving, if you can’t find other ways to say something without swearing every other word.

  27. Linda Martin says:

    You will b missed and you are loved very much

  28. Collette says:

    So, he and Mariah are both washed up has beens?

  29. jj says:

    why is everyone attacking NBC in the comments? They didn’t fire him. At most, they were allegedly considering firing him. Meaning it’s not even confirmed that were actually considering it. Sounds more like possibly an exec or two and NBC was annoyed by Nick’s stand up act, and Nick quit. Frankly, he is coming off as quite immature in this scenario in my opinion. Maybe instead of sulking and quitting, he should have had a meeting with NBC to discuss is like professionals. Looks more like he was looking for a reason to quit.

  30. popeye013 says:

    Pathetic NBC got a bee in their bonnet over a joke he made in a TV special on ANOTHER channel (Showtime)
    Makes me laugh though that NBC and Network channels can run sadistic violence and graphic stuff, but hear one tiny word or see a boob, and the FCC and the network censors go into meltdown!
    Its 2017 Ya’ll, time to get with reality!!!!!!!!

  31. Rick says:

    He married a cheap whore like MC – how much class could he have?

  32. Kelly Edison says:

    Nick Cannon is one of the respectable man who can host such a BIG show; however ,I only see him on TV ; so I do not know about his behavior in private life. Still , I see him as a man with integrity & I respect him a lot.

  33. Billy Bob Johnson says:

    I really thought the stupidity at NBC had left when GE executives left. I guess Comcast isn’t any better. NO ONE was talking about what he said in his comedy special except them. It wasn’t an issue. Why do something to him that is sooooo stupid as to potentially ruin the only thing NBC has going in the summer season.

  34. Kim says:

    NBC for sure throws its peeps under the bus. Still Boycotting all of NBC for what they did to Ann Curry.

  35. MLO says:

    So he’s quitting because he would rather front and talk like an ignorant, uneducated idiot rather than like an intelligent, well spoken man? Wow. MKL would be so proud.

  36. Pat says:

    The show will not be the same without Nick Cannon. He was always part of the show. Idk who will be taking his place but no one can replace Nick. Gonna miss you

  37. Michael Elias says:

    Nick Cannon was the star of that show, the main reason I watched that show was the crazy things he did on AGT. Its a shame that NBC cannot apologized for their threats and bring him back. Good luck Nick.

  38. Bobby says:

    I really like Nick on AGT. He should not be punished for what he says in his standup. He didn’t insult anyone and he didn’t attack a person. People need to lighten up.

  39. LFS says:

    I have enjoyed watching nick cannon on agt and thought he really enhanced the show however he is totally a messed up, mixed up individual if he feels freedom of speech is being able to speak any vulgar language he wants to and subject families that are watching to it. He needs to realize it is a family show. His whole problem is he is miserable because he is seeking for something he doesn’t have and that is acceptance as Jesus Christ as his Savior.

  40. manno says:

    The departure of Nick Cannon will impact greatly America Got Tatent for the next coming season.. Nick Cannon was the pillar, the engine, the essence of America Got Talent.Nick gave a sense to America Got Talent. Despite all judges are well qualified. Cannon was admirable, number of people were attracted to watch the show because Nick Canon sense humor. It is inconceivable in the 21st in the United States artists are not free to decide of their own.

  41. Pamela Dollarhyde says:

    Oh my gosh…I do like the judges, but Nick has the perfect Public relationship with the contestants of all ages to even assist with their loss, and having them still leave with a big smile and no regrets. This will be a huge loss for AMGT…Nick is a wonderful asset to this show. Good luck with the ratings without his personality.

  42. Betty Solomon says:

    Don’t let Nick Cannon leave the show he’s the perfect host if you let him get away the show will suffer so will the ratings

  43. Stephen Snody says:

    nick cannon is the best host on tv! its a shame he will be leaving, and i hope that the network will work diliengtly to keep him on the show.

  44. Ike says:

    It’s my most favorite TV show and I am the biggest fan of the show watching every single season . It’s been more fun since Nick took over from Jerry Springer and if that’s how they gonna suppress his freedom of speech, I’mma boycott this upcoming season and would like to call on fans to do the same

  45. gail gorby says:

    The recast of abigail on dool is so horrible. The least they could’ve done was get someone who resembled abby. This one just has no apeal. She just doesn’t fit

  46. jacquie Anderson says:

    I will miss him he added so much to the show I probably won’t be watching because I do not think that his replacement can make it half as much fun as he did and I really don’t like other things she has done but good luck and the judges do rock